Health Insurance Exchange Overview

One of the most important aspects of the PPACA will be the opening of Health Insurance Exchanges (HIX) in each state. The Health Insurance Exchanges are state and federally run online Marketplaces where Americans can shop for the appropriate health insurance that fits both their budget and lifestyle.  Small business can also elect to use the exchange model to purchase health insurance for their employees.

Low to middle income Americans will receive subsidies toward their insurance coverage. Most Americans that have access to employer-based or current insurance will not be affected; all others who do not already have Medicaid or Medicare will be able to purchase health care insurance through online Health Insurance Exchanges.  

The Health Insurance Exchanges will begin open enrollment on October 1 of this year with coverage starting January 1, 2014.


Advantages of the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Exchanges:
  • Insurance competition should create lower costs
  • No annual limits on healthcare
  • Insurance companies can't drop the patient when they are or become sick
  • No denial of coverage for preexisting conditions
  • Many applicants will be eligible for advanced premium tax credits and other financial assistance
Disadvantages of the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Exchanges:
  • Overall system is highly complicated and confusing
  • HIX is an online service that may limit enrollment by certain demographics
  • Americans may test the penalty aspect versus paying for health insurance
  • Some employees may have the new costs involved with insuring their workforce passed on to them
  • Employees may see a decline of coverage in their new or existing plan
  • States have the option of opting out of coverage for the poorest

"By 2021, the size of the exchange market is projected to more than double, marking the single largest expansion of health coverage in this country since the creation of Medicare in 1965."

- Kaiser Family Foundation