The Healthcare MarketPlace in the US
In this era of digitalization, things are just a click away from us. There is no hustle to stand in line to deposit money in the bank or even line up in departmental stores to buy groceries. Health Insurance is similarly sailing on the same boat of digitalization. Buying and selling insurance in the US has been digitalized so that customers and sellers don’t have to fuss over where and what to buy. US’s digital healthcare marketplace seems to do the trick just fine.
The healthcare marketplace is a digital platform wherein one could purchase and sell health insurance instead of an actual physical market. In India, various insurance aggregator websites play the role of the partially- healthcare marketplace. However, they are not regulated by the government but are privately owned. In the US, this regulated healthcare marketplace is also known as “Insurance exchange,” These virtual spaces allow insurance providers to list/display their health insurance plans. It is then up to the buyers to compare the costs and benefits of those plans and find out the best fit to make a purchase.
In this article, the expert’s insurance team from Secure Cover will discuss all about the US healthcare marketplace and the benefits of buying health insurance plans from those marketplaces.
While private insurance exchanges/healthcare marketplace exist in the US, some are extant even before the Affordable Care Act under the Obama Administration was passed. These private insurance exchanges are mainly used to refer to public health insurance exchanges.
However, Public insurance exchanges enable people to buy both individual and family health insurance plans. People who are eligible for Medicaid can also access them through these exchanges. On the other hand, private health insurance marketplaces usually cater to large organizations rather than insurance for individuals and families. They are more into providing health insurance plans to employers.
What are the Benefits Offered by Public Healthcare Marketplaces?
When the Affordable Care Act under ObamaCare Administration was passed, it was anticipated that there would be a framework in the form of a marketplace where all Americans would be able to explore and compare the benefits of the insurance plans and purchase those that best suit their needs.
“ObamaCare Act” had one disputable aspect, which was a health insurance plan’s compliance with its provisions that are listed in the public exchange. This meant that all the detailed plans in the public health insurance exchanges should.
I. Allow health insurance to anyone with pre-existing conditions
II. Allow a reasonable/affordable rate of premium from those with pre-existing conditions
III. Should include certain minimum benefits such as:
- Ambulatory care
- Emergency services
- Maternity and newborn care
- Mental health and substance abuse services
- Provide cover for hospitalization and surgeries
- Preventive Care
How does Healthcare Marketplace help International Students?
Most US Universities have their own university-sponsored student health insurance plans. While some universities make it mandatory for the students to enroll in their sponsored plans, others allow them to purchase plans from external/private parties such as Secure Cover or even purchase the plans from the ACA health insurance marketplace run by the federal or the state government.
There are a good number of public health exchanges in different states/districts in the US. The biggest of them is HealthCare.gov, run by the federal government. This public exchange provides health insurance to Americans in about 39 states. One needs to make a wise choice and know essential facts before thinking to apply for a plan via these public exchanges considering that these are run by the country’s government and may provide facilities only to its citizens.
Hence, a private exchange marketplace could be a better option if the prices are on a student’s budget. The only viable option is always going forward with an external party providing comprehensive health plans on reasonable premium rates, such as Secure Cover.
Are all Plans the Same for Health Insurance Buyers?
Since the healthcare marketplace is an exchange and not a health insurance seller, the plans available might differ depending on a person’s residing region. Suppose a person who lives in Arizona state might not purchase strategies that are not offered by health insurance providers for that particular state.
That is why one has to mention the state or district they currently reside in in the insurance exchange portal to get the plans applicable to their condition.
Let’s Wrap Up
Health insurance exchanges are a one-stop-shop for health insurance buyers to explore, compare and select the health plans of their choice. The exchange themselves are not sellers of health insurance but provide a platform for insurance providers to list their plans for the public. The public health insurance exchanges require the listed intends to comply with ACA regulations.
Disclaimer: The content of the following article is based on the personal research of the writer. Readers are advised to exercise discretion. Student Cover will not be liable for any wrongful interpretation of the content of this article.