Exchanges/Marketplaces (ACA)

The main structure established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that most consumers and agents will interact with is the exchange, or marketplace, where insurance products will be purchased. Two exchanges will operate for each state – the individual exchange, and the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchange.

The ACA grants state governments the option to implement and manage their own exchanges, sharing the role with the federal government, or delegating the responsibility entirely to the federal government. In total, 17 states chose to operate their own state-based exchanges, 7 opted for a state-federal partnership, and the remaining 27 defaulted to the federally-facilitated exchange (FFE) model. You can find a list of each state’s model and a link to their exchange here.