What Are State Health Insurance Marketplaces?

Health insurance Marketplaces are state-based marketplaces for individuals to purchase health insurance. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires health insurance Marketplaces to meet specific quality requirements. Marketplaces must verify that insurers are accredited, collect quality data and assess health plan quality improvement.


These requirements allow states to build Marketplaces that help people find plans that offer the best quality and value, not just cheap premiums. 

Accreditation for Health Plans Participating in Marketplaces 

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) nominated NCQA as an accrediting entity for Qualified Health Plan issuers participating in Health Insurance Marketplaces. 
  • NCQA’s Health Plan Accreditation (HPA) contains all the key elements the law requires. 
  • HPA 2013 streamlines the accreditation process by reducing administrative burdens for new and currently accredited health plans.
  • HPA 2013 creates three accreditation evaluation options and comprise a “glide path”—flexible opportunities for reaching accreditation, regardless of a plan’s longevity or experience with quality reporting.