You are here:HomeIssuesHealth Care Reform2013What’s in a Name? Confusion, As HHS Changes “Exchange” to “Marketplace”

What’s in a Name? Confusion, As HHS Changes “Exchange” to “Marketplace”

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has changed how it refers to a key part of the 2010 healthcare reform law, removing the word “exchange” and instead using the phrase Health Insurance Marketplace, or just Marketplace...
January 30, 2013

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has changed how it refers to a key part of the 2010 healthcare reform law, removing the word “exchange” and instead using the phrase Health Insurance Marketplace, or just Marketplace. A website managed by HHS, www.healthcare.gov, prominently features Marketplace as the online portal where uninsured, low-income individuals will be able to use healthcare reform’s federally-authorized premium subsidies to buy coverage from participating insurers. Small businesses will also be able to buy policies from the “marketplaces” for their employees.

What It Means to Agents: Despite the new reference by HHS, the fact remains that the term “exchange” is the one used throughout the Affordable Care Act. In addition, states creating their own exchanges are using the term, “exchange.” In making this change, HHS may be attempting to give the impression that exchanges constitute the entire marketplace where health insurance can be purchased. This, however, is not accurate because exchanges are not the only places consumers can go to secure coverage. People can buy health insurance both inside and outside an exchange. Implying that these new structures are the sole “marketplace” for health insurance risks causing confusion.

HHS Still Working on Agent Involvement in Healthcare Reform (PIA 1/16/13)

Filed under: