Health Insurance Exchanges

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) calls for health insurance exchanges—government-regulated marketplaces—by 2014. Exchanges are designed to make health insurance more accessible and affordable for individuals and small business owners, among others. While the ACA outlines structural parameters for state exchanges, states are left with a lot of choices to design and implement them. Since the success of these exchanges is dependent on the decisions states make—like how many exchanges to support, what role they will play in the insurance markets and how to make them financially sustainable—many state policy-makers are in need of:

  1. Qualitative and quantitative data about how best to design exchanges; and
  2. Guidance about how to monitor and evaluate their implementation.

A resource from the State Health Access Data Assistance Center, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative, presents key considerations and data for states as they contemplate design of their exchanges. The report offers data, profiles earlier exchanges launched in four states—Connecticut, Massachusetts, Utah and Washington—and offers viable models for states to reference.