A state marketplace is similar to the federal health insurance marketplace. Their plans are generally required to adhere to the same Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations that apply to the federal marketplace.
The main difference is that the marketplace is maintained by the state itself rather than the federal government.
Why do some states have their own marketplace?
The option for states to have their own health insurance marketplace was granted with the passage of the ACA.
State marketplaces now generally fall into two categories:
- Some states (like Massachusetts) launched marketplaces prior to the ACA and were allowed to keep using it once the ACA passed.
- Other states (like Pennsylvania) chose to make their own marketplace after the ACA was passed and were granted a waiver by the federal government to do so. Some states chose this option for a variety of reasons, some financial (the federal platform charges states a fee) and some political.
Fourteen states, plus Washington DC, have state marketplaces: