How does the Marketplace work?

The Health Insurance Marketplace® (sometimes called the Exchange) helps people who don’t have health care coverage:

  • through their job,
  • through a government program like Medicare or Medicaid, or
  • due to a life event like a job loss or cut in hours.

Some insurance companies, like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, offer both Marketplace and off-Marketplace plans. All of these plans include the same essential health benefits.

When you buy a Marketplace plan, you may be able to get financial help or subsidies based on things like your family size and income. If you qualify, your monthly payment may be lower.

 The Health Insurance Marketplace makes it easy to shop for plans in your area. Compare plans by:

  • Availability in your area
  • Costs like monthly payment, deductible, copayment (dollar amounts), and coinsurance (percentage)
  • Benefits
  • Hospitals and doctors in the plan’s network
  • Prescription drug lists and coverage
  • Features like discounts and wellness and fitness offerings

You can shop for yourself, or you may choose to have a licensed agent help you.

The Marketplace offers fact sheets, tips and a list of common terms that make it easier to understand health care coverage.

The Marketplace can connect you with local help. Or, you can speak with one of our health plan specialists. Call us toll-free at 1-888-731-0383.

You can access the Marketplace from your desktop, smartphone or other mobile device.

Originally published 9/12/2018; Revised 2019-2020, 2023.

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