Health insurance exchanges would act like a market place where one could shop for a wide range of health insurance policies with various premiums and benefits. While each plan would be unique, almost all health insurance plans would offer some common set of benefits (at the minimum) for the benefit of consumers.

Individuals, small business owners and big companies alike would be the customers of such health insurance exchanges. Some examples of this concept are available for international student health insurance and visitor medical insurance insurance segments.

The health insurance exchange would encourage healthy competition between insurance carriers. Besides, it would make it easier for consumers to decide on a plan of their choice.

Short term health insurance buyers like fresh graduates and the unemployed can also shop for price and benefits. Typical factors influencing the premiums the age of the members and the geographic location.

It remains to be seen if the concept of health insurance exchange is going to go main-stream for regular US domestic health insurance segment.