The Health Insurance Marketplace was established with the passing of the 2010 Affordable Care Act under the Obama administration. Providing cheap and affordable health insurance to every American is the primary function of the ACA Marketplace. The ACA was referred to as both the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and Obamacare before the term ACA became the most commonly used acronym. 

Another goal of the ACA is to make the complicated U.S. healthcare system fair to access and easy to understand for Americans. The ACA also supports innovative ways of delivering medical/health care options to Americans as means of lower overall healthcare expenses in the country. In fact, this program is responsible for most states expanding Medicaid benefits to more low-income Americans today.

How To Find Cheap Healthcare On The Health Insurance Marketplace

One benefit of purchasing health insurance through the ACA Marketplace is the ability to compare many multiple plan options with other plans. Plans are set up in coverage tiers based on each plan’s actuarial value. 

There are Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum-level plans available. Actuarial value is staged in percentages and refers to how much of your total treatment, expenses and more are actually covered by your insurance plan. Plans with higher actuarial values charge higher monthly premiums. Plans with lower actuarial values are perhaps more affordable upfront but pay for less of your medical needs overall.

While the U.S. federal government operates the main ACA Marketplace, certain states choose to run their own health insurance marketplaces. The ACA Marketplace offers enrollment assistance online. Enrollment is only allowed during certain periods of time each year. 

A Special Enrollment Period is provided to those who missed the main enrollment period due to certain qualifying situations.

Enrollment for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and certain qualified Medicaid applicants is held year-round with no waiting periods, however. Additional benefits of purchasing health insurance through the ACA Marketplace include:

  • Private health insurance is now sold via the ACA Marketplace.
  • All insurance plans are required to offer the same ten (10) minimum essential health benefits.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses charged to consumers are capped accordingly in each plan.
  • Households with qualified income levels ranging between one and four hundred percent of the FPL are offered premium tax credits or subsidies.

Updated on 05/25/2022