Mark Merlis

Document Type

Issue Brief

Publication Date



Many reform proposals call for the creation of one or more health insurance exchanges, intermediaries that can help individuals or small employers navigate the insurance market. An exchange might be public or private, national, or local. It might serve simply as a clearinghouse for plan information or could play an active role in setting benefit packages, choosing high-quality plans, and negotiating premium rates. This paper begins with a summary of recent experience with insurance exchanges and similar systems. It then reviews basic issues in the design of an exchange.


Issue brief no. 832

Open Access




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