What Are Health Insurance Marketplaces and Exchanges?
Marketplaces (also known as an exchange) allow you to enroll for an insurance through a public or private forum. This can be done on a portal or various websites.
Alabama Private Exchanges vs Public Exchanges
Private exchanges are designed with employers in mind so an employee can enroll in the plan that the employer has preselected. In addition, a consulting firm or broker can also run a private exchange for an employer. Individuals (or small businesses) can also shop and register during open enrollment via a private exchange. When shopping on the private exchange, you forfeit subsidies and financial assistance that may be available.
The public exchange for Alabama is run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), at the federal level. Originally, the state governor, Robert Bentley, wanted to have a state-run insurance exchange, but ultimately decided to allow the federal government to own control. When using the public exchange, your application will also verify if you qualify for Medicaid, CHIP, or other discounts based on income level. There is currently only one carrier that will be available on the public exchange in 2017. Historically, Alabama’s market has been, and is continuing to be, one of the least competitive available.
Alabama Marketplace and Exchange Facts