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Federally Facilitated Exchanges-Policy Brief

One of the key mechanisms for expanding health coverage under the Affordable Care Act is the creation of new state-based health insurance exchanges. Starting with an “open enrollment” period in October 2013, people who do not have access to affordable insurance through an employer and who do not qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will be able to purchase “qualified health plans” through these exchanges, most likely to be accessed by many consumers through new websites. Federal subsidies will be available through exchanges to make coverage more affordable for low-income people. The new coverage purchased through exchanges will take effect in January 2014.

This policy brief explores the issues now arising as the federally facilitated exchanges are being shaped. 

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