What's the Health Insurance Marketplace?

As part of health care reform, the government created a place to find health insurance online. At first it was called the Exchange. But now it's called the Health Insurance Marketplace, or healthcare.gov.

How does it work?

Most people who don't have insurance through an employer can use the Health Insurance Marketplace. You:

  • Must live in the United States
  • Must be a U.S. citizen or be lawfully present
  • Can't be currently in jail

You start by filling out an application. Then you'll see plans you can buy based on your income and where you live. You'll find out if you qualify for financial assistance, and whether you're eligible for other programs like Medicaid.

How is it different from shopping on Blue Cross?

You can do many of the same things on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan website that you can do on the Marketplace. You can shop, get prices and apply for medical and dental insurance both places. You'll see the same plans, pricing and benefits on both sites. 

But not all our plans are available on the Marketplace, like our dental plans that include adult vision. There are some other differences between shopping on our site and the Marketplace.

Blue Cross vs. Health Insurance Marketplace

What will I see?

  • Blue Cross - You can see all our medical and dental plans.
  • Health Insurance Marketplace - You'll see only the plans available to you based on your income and location.

Can I compare plans?

  • Blue Cross - You can compare the plans we're offering side-by-side.
  • Health Insurance Marketplace - You can compare plans from all Michigan insurance companies participating in the Marketplace.

Can I find out if I'm eligible for a subsidy?

  • Blue Cross - When you're shopping for plans, you'll be able to see if you qualify for lower costs.
  • Health Insurance Marketplace - After you complete your application, your eligibility and subsidy amount will be confirmed.

Can I get help and advice?

  • Blue Cross- You can get help from insurance experts on the phone and in person from our health plan advisors and agents.
  • Health Insurance Marketplace - You can get help from trained people and community resources contracted by the Marketplace.
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