Do I have to purchase my health insurance on the exchange?

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The exchange, the market place, on exchange, off exchange, private exchange; these are all terms being thrown around but most people are still wondering what those terms mean and where they will find the Affordable Care as stated in the legislation.

We would like to clear up some confusion we are seeing when it comes to the Affordable Care Act and how it is implemented. There are 3 venues where individuals can shop and purchase insurance:

Public Exchange: Also known as the Health Insurance Marketplace, Federal Exchange or ‘The Exchange.’ This exchange is ran by the government and serves as a portal to assist the uninsured and offers federal subsidies to those that qualify. (400% of the federal poverty level or lower)

Private Exchange: Private insurance exchanges are owned and operated by entrepreneurs who serve the employer markets. They help employers choose how much to spend on their health insurance and other benefits. Private exchanges empower employers with tools to help them choose the best plan to fit their needs.

Off Exchange: Traditional health insurance plans purchased directly from the insurance company or insurance agent. The same policies offered on the public exchange will be offered off exchange. Also, plan designs not offered on the federal exchange will be available.

If you do not qualify for a subsidy it is advised to purchase off of the public exchange.

An individual shopping for insurance will experience:

On Exchange
No Underwriting
No Preexisting conditions limitations
Federal subsidy up to 400% of poverty
Increased Benefits
4 Plan Levels
-Bronze 60%
-Silver   70%
-Gold    80%
-Platinum 90%
Price Compression of 3 to 1
Draft 22 page subsidy application

Off Exchange
No underwriting
No preexisting conditions limitations
The SAME plans offered on the federal
Increased benefits exchange must be offered Off Exchange

4 Plan Levels
-Bronze 60%
-Silver 70%
-Gold 80%
-Platinum 90%
Price Compression of 3 to 1
Standard short form insurance application

It is important to shop around and review all options available to you in the new health insurance market. We are finding that many think they are on their own to purchase insurance through through the exhange come October 1st. That is simply not the case, we are finding there may be more options availible to you Off Exchange.

Utilize Professional Insurance Programs as your resource to find the best health insurance plan that fits your needs. We are here to help you, allow us to be your advocate in the new market.