What is health insurance exchange?
Also known as the health insurance marketplace, health insurance exchange is a universal health insurance market where people can compare, choose, and buy insurance plans as required. The model is similar to shopping for goods from a mart. In the case of a health insurance exchange, private companies list their health plans with the exchange. People then compare and shop the insurance products listed on the exchange.
The health insurance exchange is usually developed by the government for the public and is designed to serve individuals without healthcare or large employers so that people can encounter them when signing-up for job-based health insurance.
What’s Great About Health Insurance Exchange?
The great thing about health insurance exchanges is that it makes it easier for people to compare insurance plans. Furthermore, the plans listed on the exchange are usually transparent, high in quality, and ranked from the lowest price with the highest coverage. These features in turn also affect the competition among insurance companies and bring down the price of the premiums that one must pay towards insurance.
Another interesting feature of an exchange is that all policies listed in it must provide the insured with a minimum set of health benefits to be ACA compliant. Some of these health benefits are-
- Outpatient care
- Maternity Care and Newborn services
- Mental health
- Treatment for substance abuse
- Cost of prescription drugs
- Ambulatory services
- Vision and dental care
- Preventive care
Furthermore, health insurance exchanges offer individuals with the benefit of government subsidies, which makes insurance plans more affordable for those with moderate incomes. Even for individuals with fluctuating incomes, choosing health insurance through exchanges is a wise decision. The reason being that in this case, a person can pay the full amount initially and then make a claim on the subsidy during tax returns. So, if an individual feels that their income is eligible for premium subsidies, it’s best to take advantage of the support while they can by enrolling themselves through the exchanges.
You might want to purchase an insurance plan out of an exchanges purview because you might feel that you are not receiving many benefits from it. However, exchanges are the only points of access to government subsidies. Moreover, jobs and income keep changing. If it so happens that your income drops at some point during a year, and you have taken an off-exchange plan, you cannot shift back to an on-exchange plan mid-year and claim subsidies.
One must keep in mind that health insurance exchange is only a podium for purchasing coverage, it is not your insurance company. As mentioned earlier it is a universal health insurance marketplace that makes it easier for people to shop for insurance plans. It’s a wise choice to make and save money on a low- income. Hence, if you have not enrolled yourself in any of the exchanges, it’s time to give it a thought and reap the benefits as soon as possible.