When you’re self-employed or working for an employer who doesn’t offer health insurance, it can be a frustrating process to try and find a health insurance plan that fits your lifestyle and your budget! But with a few simple steps it’s easy to make sure you get the best deal on your health insurance, wherever you live.

1. Check your subsidy eligibility.

8 out of 10 people who enrolled through the federal exchange last year qualified for a tax credit to help reduce the cost of their premium! Do you know if you are eligible for a subsidy? You should, last year the average subsidy for plans sold on the federal exchange was $268, saving the recipients over $3200 in just one year. In general, if you earn between one hundred and 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level you could be eligible for a subsidy. HealthMatchup can help check your subsidy eligibility as part of our quoting process; it only takes a couple of minutes.

2. Compare on-exchange and off-exchange plans.

On-exchange plans are plans sold through either the federal or your state’s health exchange. Off-exchange plans are offered by the same carriers and are Obamacare compliant, but are not sold through the exchange—some carriers may not even offer on-exchange plans! The big difference between plans sold on-exchange and those sold off-exchange is that only on-exchange plans are eligible for subsidies. So why consider an off-exchange plan? Well, if you’re not eligible for a subsidy or only eligible for a small subsidy you might find a plan better suited to your lifestyle off the exchange. Plans can vary in a number of ways, for example if you only look at on-exchange plans you could be missing out on policies that offer larger networks, better cost-sharing options, and potentially better prices. You can manually compare quotes by visiting the exchange and then additionally requesting quotes from carriers. Or, to make the process quick and simple, you can let HealthMatchup do the work for you.

3. Don’t automatically renew your existing health insurance plan.

Health insurance shopping can be frustrating, so we understand why staying enrolled in the same plan for another year could be appealing! However, with some premiums rising at different rates than others you could be paying more for your insurance than you need to.

4. Check to see if a plan offers healthy living rewards.

A number of carriers now offer added incentives to people who live a healthy lifestyle. Whether it’s meeting a daily activity goal or making healthy changes to your diet, some carriers will reward people for meeting health-focused goals. Rewards vary but can include premium reductions, points that can be used to redeem offers or even deductible reductions.

5. Compare as many plans as possible.

Plans offered on and off-exchange change yearly, don’t assume that because the plan you chose last year offered the best deal that it will still be your best option this year. The addition of new plans and changes to existing plans mean that there could be multiple plans that better fit your lifestyle and budget. The best way to compare coverage options is to gather plan information and quotes for all of the plans in your location. Sounds time-consuming, right? It doesn’t have to be; HealthMatchup will do the hard work for you and get you personalized quotes from the best carriers in minutes! All you need to do is answer a few basic questions. You’ll even be able to filter plans so you can compare only the plans you’re most interested in, saving you time and money.

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*Information provided is intended as guidance only, consumers should confirm the details of their chosen plan’s coverage before enrolling.

The team at HealthMatchup.com is passionate about helping people find the best health insurance for their needs. We believe that finding the right health insurance plan shouldn’t be hard. In fact, we think it should be easy. We work with trusted partners to bring you all of the information you need to choose an insurance plan that fits both your health needs and your budget. Getting healthcare quotes is quick and easy, giving you free access to all of the best health plans available in your area.