Health insurance exchange

You need to understand what a health insurance exchange is. Here’s what to know.

What is a health insurance exchange?

A health insurance exchange is an online health insurance marketplace available in all states and the District of Columbia that was put in place under health care reform. The exchange is designed to make it easier for individuals and small businesses to compare available health plans and find the one that suits their budget.

Deeper definition

In addition to the health insurance exchange website, assistance is available by phone and in person in certain locations. The health insurance exchange may be operated by the state or federal government.

Upon completing the application, you will see if you qualify for a tax subsidy to help pay for the premium or for a government safety-net program such as Medicaid.

The amount that you pay for health insurance depends on your income. Approximately eight in 10 people save money by shopping through the health insurance exchange.

Insurance through the health insurance exchange is available for people who do not already have insurance coverage through an employer, Medicare, Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

While these people still can browse and shop for insurance plans on the exchange, they will pay full price for them unless their employer’s plan does not meet the minimum standards.

Are you shopping for a plan? Learn more about evaluating a health insurance plan.

Health insurance exchange example

To visit the health insurance exchange, users go to Healthcare.gov or the website for their state-operated exchange during the enrollment period. Users specify their state and ZIP code, then begin the application.

The documents and information needed to apply are Social Security numbers, income information for the entire family, policy numbers for current insurance and any other information about job-related health insurance.

After completing the application, you can browse the available plans and select the one that matches your needs and your budget. Rather than getting estimates from each company individually, the exchange lists and compares them all in one place. Once you enroll in a plan, you make payments directly to the insurance company rather than to the health insurance exchange.

Not sure if you need to browse the health insurance exchange? Learn more about Obamacare exchanges vs. employer health insurance.

 

More From Bankrate

  • The Benefits of Bundling Your Home and Auto Insurance

    If you’re a homeowner with one or more vehicles, you may be able to save money on home and auto insurance bundles. As mandated in most states in the US, you need a minimum amount of car insurance to [...]

    4 MIN READ Jan. 6, 2021
  • USAA Insurance Review 2021: Auto, Home and Life

    USAA Insurance is known for its service to the military community and their families. Whether you’re active or former military, an eligible family member, a cadet or midshipman, USAA is available to [...]

    8 MIN READ Dec. 17, 2020
  • 21st Century Insurance Review 2021: Car & Home

    21st Century Insurance, a small operation serving the residents of California and Hawaii, is best known for its fast claim turnaround time and customer service. Most business is done online or over the [...]

    4 MIN READ Dec. 17, 2020
  • NJM Auto Insurance Review 2021: Overview & Rates

    New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company has been selling insurance since 1913. The property and casualty mutual company operates under the name NJM Auto Insurance, providing coverage mainly in New Jersey [...]

    6 MIN READ Dec. 11, 2020
  • Ameriprise Insurance review: Car, home and life

    A well-established financial institution, Ameriprise also offers auto, home and life insurance policies. It sells standard policies at middle-of-the-road rates. Ameriprise recently sold its home and auto [...]

    4 MIN READ Sep. 22, 2020
  • AAA Insurance Review 2021: Auto, Home, and Life

    The American Automobile Association formed in 1902, when fewer than 25,000 cars occupied American roads. Throughout its history, AAA has worked tirelessly to improve safety, producing driver textbooks [...]

    7 MIN READ Sep. 10, 2020
  • Kemper Insurance Review: Auto, Home & Life

    Kemper is a multifaceted insurance holding company that sells auto, home, life and small business insurance products. It offers auto insurance through agents and independent brokers in the state of California, [...]

    6 MIN READ Sep. 3, 2020