What is a health insurance exchange?

The federal health reform law requires that health insurance exchanges be fully operational in 2014. States have the option of creating and managing their own exchanges or relying on the federal government to manage their exchanges. An exchange is an online marketplace where uninsured residents and small businesses will compare health policy benefits and prices. Exchanges will follow strict standards to ensure that the insurance products sold through the exchange include adequate benefits for low premiums. Exchanges are intended to promote competition among insurers by making it easy to compare insurance policies from different carriers. Also, in 2014, under the federal reform law, insurers will no longer be able to refuse to sell coverage to someone because of their age or health status. This provision coupled with the creation of exchanges will make it easier for consumers to find affordable coverage.


07-01-2011 05:19 (EDT)