A important aspect of the ACA was the formation of the Health Insurance Exchanges also known as the Health Insurance Marketplaces. In 2010, each state was given the choice to set up their own exchange or operate through the federal exchange. The following states moved forward building their own exchanges:
- California – Covered California
- Colorado – Connect for Health Colorado
- Connecticut – Access Health CT
- District of Columbia (Washington D.C) – DC Health Link
- Hawaii – Hawaii Health Connector
- Idaho – Your Health Idaho
- Kentucky – Kentucky’s Healthcare Connection
- Maryland – Maryland Health Connection
- Massachusetts – The Health Connector
- Minnesota – MNsure
- Nevada – Nevada Health Link
- New Mexico – Be Well NM
- New York – New York State of Health
- Rhode Island – Health Source RI
- Vermont – Vermont Health Connect
- Washington – The Washington Health Plan Finder
All of the other states access their healthcare options through the federal exchange Healthcare.gov. Within each exchange, regardless if it is a state run exchange or the federal exchange, is the ability for individuals and small businesses to set up their insurance options.
The Public Individual Exchange
This exchanged is designed to help individuals that do not have a employer sponsored insurance program available to them find health insurance options. Key components of the individual exchange include:
- Four defined plan levels with all options having to be Qualified Health Plans.
- Subsidies for household income levels below 400% of the federal poverty level.
- The ability to purchase coverage with no exclusions to pre-existing conditions.
- No employer involvement. The employer can not pay the premiums for the individual.
The following table shows the federal poverty levels for 2014-2015: