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Health Insurance Glossary

Definitions for common health insurance terms

public exchange

DEFINITION: The Affordable Care Act included a provision to set up a public exchange in every state, run by either the state, HHS, or a collaboration between the two. The exchange itself (i.e., the marketplace where you shop for coverage) is government-run. But the health plans available for sale in the exchange are from private health insurance companies, many of which have been providing health insurance for decades.