If you use the health insurance marketplace, you can compare plans and shop with confidence that all the plans displayed have been certified as meeting a minimum standard for coverage and quality, and will qualify as “minimum essential coverage.” If you shop for a plan outside the health insurance marketplace, you will need to do your own research to determine whether the plan provides the kind of financial protection and access to providers that is right for you and your family. In recent years, an increasing number of insurance companies have been marketing junk insurance products that look like comprehensive health insurance but actually cover very little, and can leave consumers with large medical bills if they get sick or injured. Buying through the ACA’s marketplace guarantees that the plan you purchase will provide a minimum level of financial protection. Second, premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions to help lower the cost of coverage are only available through plans purchased in a health insurance marketplace. (45 C.F.R. § 155.420).