What type of health insurance exchange does my state have?

Q: What type of health insurance exchange does my state have?

A: As of the 2020 plan year, there are 13 state-based marketplaces, six state-based marketplaces that use the federal platform (SBM-FP), six state-federal partnership marketplaces, and 26 fully federally-run marketplaces.

But there were some changes for 2020, which was the first time since 2017 that there were changes to the structure of some of the exchanges. For 2020 enrollment, starting in November 2019:

  • Nevada has a fully state-run exchange, after having an SBM-FP since 2015. Plans are available for preview on the state’s exchange website as of October 2019, and enrollees began porting their data from HealthCare.gov to Nevada Health Link as of September 2019.
  • New Jersey has an SBM-FP, after having a federally-run marketplace since 2014 (federal approval for this was granted in October 2019). New Jersey plans to transition to a fully state-run exchange by the fall of 2020.
  • Pennsylvania has transitioned to an SBM-FP, after having a fully federally-run marketplace in previous years. The state is in the process of transitioning to a fully state-run exchange by the fall of 2020.

Maine has notified CMS that they plan to transition the state to an SBM-FP by the fall of 2020—and possibly to a fully state-run exchange by the fall of 2021. Legislation was enacted in Maine in 2020 to move forward with that process.

New Mexico and Kentucky plan to have fully state-run exchanges by the fall of 2021, for enrollments in 2022 coverage. Both states have an SBM-FP in 2020, and will continue to use that approach in 2021.

Oregon, which has an SBM-FP, is also considering a future switch to its own enrollment platform.

Prior changes to exchange structures

2019 Obamacare open enrollment guideIn the first few years of exchange operation, there were several changes in various states’ exchange structure from one year to the next. Most recently, for 2017:

  • Arkansas switched from having a state-federal partnership exchange to an SBM-FP.
  • Hawaii switched from an SBM-FP to the federally-run exchange
  • Kentucky switched from a state-based exchange to an SBM-FP

From a user perspective, the enrollment platform in Kentucky changed from Kynect to HealthCare.gov in 2017 (starting when open enrollment for 2017 coverage began, on November 1, 2016). But users likely didn’t notice a difference in Hawaii or Arkansas in 2017, as enrollees simply continued to use HealthCare.gov, just as they did in 2016. The same thing will be true in New Jersey in the fall of 2019—although the state will take on more oversight of the exchange, users will simply continue to use HealthCare.gov and likely won’t notice a change until the fall of 2020.

There have been other transitions since the marketplaces first opened for business in the fall of 2013. Idaho used HealthCare.gov for enrollment in 2014, but switched to being a fully state-run exchange prior to the 2015 open enrollment period.

Nevada and Oregon both had state-run exchanges in 2014, but due to technical difficulties, they both opted to become federally-supported state-based exchanges prior to the 2015 open enrollment period (the enrollment platform is HealthCare.gov, but the state still retains control over its own exchange; Nevada will switch back to their own fully state-run enrollment platform in the fall of 2019). For 2016, Hawaii opted to do the same thing, and enrollments in Hawaii have been completed through Healthcare.gov since November 2015 (for 2017, Hawaii dropped the state-based aspect of their exchange, switching to a fully federally-run exchange).

Arkansas, Mississippi, and Utah were all running their own SHOP exchange (the platform for small businesses to enroll in coverage), but switched to using the federal platform or a direct-to-carrier process by 2018. But by that point, even the federal platform for small busines enrollment was no longer functioning as it had in past years, and small group enrollment had switched to a direct-to-carrier process in nearly every state.

Here’s how each state’s exchange is run, as of 2020:


(these states all use HealthCare.gov)

Maine* (possibly an SBM-FP as of 2021 and SBM as of 2022)
North Carolina
North Dakota
South Carolina
South Dakota*
Virginia* (legislation has been enacted to create a state-run exchange by 2023)

States with an asterisk have a marketplace plan management exchange.  Their exchanges are federally-run, but the state retains oversight of the plans, and is active in certifying QHPs for sale in the exchange.


(these state-based marketplaces — SBMs — have their own enrollment websites)

District of Columbia
New York
Rhode Island

State-based, federal platform (SBM-FP)

(these states all use the HealthCare.gov enrollment platform)

Kentucky (planning to transition to an SBM by fall 2021)
New Jersey (planning to transition to an SBM by fall 2020)
New Mexico (state runs its own small business SHOP exchange, and plans to have a fully state-run individual exchange by fall 2021).
Pennsylvania (planning to transition to an SBM by fall 2020)



(partnership exchanges use the HealthCare.gov platform for enrollments)

New Hampshire
West Virginia


Find affordable health plans

Since 2008, we’ve helped more than 16 million people.

(Step 1 of 2)

Related terms

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

health insurance exchange

health insurance marketplace


Related articles