Yes. Many insurers that offer policies through the Marketplace also offer identical policies outside of the Marketplace, in the individual health insurance market. These ACA-compliant policies also will meet all ACA standards. They will cover essential health benefits; and they won’t turn you down, charge you more, or limit coverage based on your pre-existing condition. In addition, ACA-compliant policies will be offered only during Open Enrollment, or at other times during the year, only to people who are eligible for a special enrollment period (SEP).
Sometimes people prefer to buy outside of the Marketplace, for example, when they are sure they won’t qualify for financial assistance. However, many other policies that are not ACA-compliant are also for sale outside of the Marketplace, and this can make comparison-shopping more complicated.
Some signs that a health policy is not ACA-compliant include:
Plans that are not ACA-compliant, including short-term health insurance, may have lower premiums because they can exclude people with pre-existing conditions and offer more limited benefits.
If you are shopping outside of the Marketplace and you want an ACA-compliant policy, be sure to specify that to the insurer or broker you’re working with.
Finally, even if you think you won’t qualify for financial assistance, it still might be worthwhile to shop for coverage on the Marketplace. All policies offered through the Marketplace will meet ACA standards; no other non-compliant products are sold there.