What Are Health Insurance Marketplaces and Exchanges?
Health insurance marketplaces, often referred to as health care exchanges, are services that enable enrollment in health insurance plans through a public or private forum. These forums are accessible through multiple website portals. To avoid an Obamacare penalty, you must have a qualified health plan that meets the minimum viable healthcare coverage standards as set forth by Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act. A plan that meets these requirements can be purchased on-exchange (through the government health care exchange) or off-exchange (through a private insurer). If you buy your insurance off-exchange, you cannot qualify for financial assistance or government subsidies.
Texas Private Exchanges vs Public Exchanges
The public health insurance exchange, otherwise referred to as the Texas Health Insurance Marketplace, is managed at the federal level by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Soon after Obamacare was signed into effect, Governor Rick Perry decided his state would operate under a federally-run Texas Obama care marketplace instead of a state-run public marketplace. When using the TX Obama care exchange, your application will also be used to verify if you qualify for Medicaid, CHIP, or other discounts based on your income level.
The private health insurance exchange is used by employers to enable employees to enroll in a pre-selected employee-sponsored health insurance group plan. The private exchange is also where individuals, the self-employed, and small businesses shop and enroll for coverage during the open enrollment window. Consulting firms or brokers typically run the private exchange utilized by an employer.
Learn More About Your Options in the Texas Health Insurance Marketplace. Talk With An Advisor.
Texas Health Care Marketplace and Exchange Resources