A key element of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the creation of the Affordable Insurance Marketplaces. These state-based, competitive marketplaces, which were launched in 2014, provide millions of Americans and small businesses with “one-stop shopping” for affordable insurance coverage. Because they lack purchasing power and the ability to pool risk, individuals and small businesses too often pay higher insurance rates. The law changes that by providing them with competitive, consumer-centered health insurance marketplaces to compare and buy insurance.
In the Marketplaces, Americans have access to a wide range of customer assistance tools – including information about prices, quality, and physician and hospital networks. The plans offered in the Marketplaces are required to provide at least a basic level of comprehensive benefits.
In addition to state marketplaces, states have an option of creating a state-federal partnership. For states who do not wish to set up a state marketplace, the government will create a federally-facilitated marketplace.
The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has proposed rules outlining a framework that will enable States to build Affordable Insurance Marketplaces. For more information Click Here.