A health care exchange is an online shopping area for health insurance plans. The creation of health care exchanges at the state and regional levels is part of the Affordable Care Act.
Health care exchanges contain listings created by health insurance companies about their available plans. The exchange site makes it easy for individual, family and small business consumers to compare different plans based on both services provided and costs.
The exchanges are designed to foster competition to lower insurance rates. Exchanges include provisions requiring each exchange to offer plans that cross state lines and plans run by nonprofit organizations.