The health insurance marketplace, often referred to as the health insurance exchange, is a platform where individuals and small businesses can compare and purchase health insurance plans. It was established as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the United States.

The marketplace offers a range of health insurance options from different insurance companies, allowing consumers to compare plans based on cost, coverage, and other factors. It also provides information on financial assistance programs available to help lower-income individuals and families afford health insurance coverage.

One of the key features of the marketplace is that it ensures transparency and standardization in health insurance plans, making it easier for consumers to understand their options and make informed decisions about their healthcare coverage. Additionally, the marketplace is typically open for a specific enrollment period each year, during which individuals can sign up for coverage or make changes to their existing plans.

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