health insurance marketplace
DEFINITION: A health insurance marketplace – or health insurance exchange – is a key provision of the Affordable Care Act, established to provide a selection of competing providers, each offering different qualified plans. All qualified plans must meet standards established and enforced by the federal government. For instance, participating plans will not be allowed to discriminate against applicants based on health history (pre-existing conditions) or future risk. Competition between the plan providers would, in theory, encourage the providers to improve the quality and pricing of offered plans.