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Health Insurance Marketplaces – What are they?

on Wed, 01/23/2013 - 4:00pm

A Health Insurance Marketplace, otherwise known as a health insurance ‘Exchange,’ is a website that acts as a virtual market for insurance where consumers can compare and contrast selected health insurance plans offered in their state. These virtual Marketplaces are comparable to websites consumers currently use to search for airline flights, such as Orbitz or Travelocity, in which an individual can compare and contrast different options at different costs.

However, instead of airline flights, the products offered will be health insurance products called ‘Qualified Health Plans,’ or QHPs. These QHPs have been deemed qualified to be posted on each state’s website, because they meet the basic requirements for coverage indicated in the Affordable Care Act. Coverage under these insurance plans will be presented in plain language, so consumers can understand the difference between plans when it comes to costs, quality, and benefits covered.

Beginning on October 1, 2013, you will be able to shop for insurance on your state's Marketplace.  For more information about the Marketplace in your state, visit