What's the Difference Between On-Exchange and Off-Exchange?

What is On-Exchange?

Health insurance plans that are offered through the Marketplace – a massive online store for health insurance plans that is run by the federal government or state. These plans are required to provide essential health benefits and follow more guidelines as set by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). You usually purchase these plans from either Healthcare.gov or your state’s exchange platform. 

 

With these plans, you may be eligible to receive a government subsidy depending on your household size and income, meaning that your monthly health insurance costs (a.k.a. your premium) might be lower.


 

What is Off-Exchange?

Health insurance plans that are offered privately by each health insurance company. These plans also offer most if not all the essential health benefits as their on-exchange counterparts and are usually are a mirror of their on-exchange plans. The names of the plans are often exactly the same as well.

 

The difference? You won't buy these plans from Healthcare.gov or your state exchange platform. You also won't receive a government subsidy or discounts for these plans.

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Updated July 13, 2019

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