Health Insurance Exchanges/Marketplaces


Health Insurance Exchanges/Marketplaces

Health Insurance Exchanges/Marketplaces

Public Health Insurance Marketplaces are available in every state in the U.S. Also known as public exchanges, these online shopping hubs are available for individual consumers and small businesses to compare plans and buy health insurance. Since their introduction in 2014, public Marketplaces have faced a variety of challenges, from enrollment and plan participation (particularly among younger adults), to costs and delays.

Annual Open Enrollment

In most states, the Open Enrollment period runs from November 1, through December 15 with coverage effective on January 1.

State-run Marketplaces may have extended Open Enrollment periods. Individuals interested in purchasing coverage should confirm annual Open Enrollment dates with their state-specific Marketplace.

Special Enrollment Period

You can enroll outside the Open Enrollment Period only if you lose other health coverage or if you experience certain qualifying life events such as marriage or the birth of a child. The Special Enrollment Period is 60 days beginning on the date of the qualifying event. If you enroll between the first and 15th of the month, coverage becomes effective on the first day of the following month.

Federal vs. State-Based Marketplaces

Twelve states, including the District of Columbia, operate their own Marketplaces. The remaining states rely in whole or in part on the federally-facilitated Marketplace.

If you are looking for coverage, visit If your state does not sell through the federal Marketplace, you will be redirected to your state Marketplace website.

Examples of State-Run Marketplaces

  • California – Covered California
  • Connecticut – Access Health CT
  • New York – New York State of Health
  • Washington – Washington HealthPlanFinder

For More Information

Review our Exchange Fact Sheet for information about:

  • Marketplace rules and requirements
  • Public vs. private exchanges
  • Subsidies for individuals
  • The SHOP Marketplace for small businesses

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