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Thursday, July 24, 2014
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Affordable Care Act insurance shopping to go online

Last Modified: Thursday, August 15, 2013 10:03 AM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

The newest change arising from implementation of the Affordable Care Act will come Oct. 1 when health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, go online — creating a way for the uninsured to shop for coverage and compare options.

Officials with the Louisiana Healthcare Education Coalition on Wednesday gathered as part of their efforts to educate Louisianians on the effects of Obamacare.

A website is one of the main components of the overall reform, said Brian Keller, senior vice president at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana. “Individuals who maybe never had health insurance before or who are currently uninsured are going to have an easy way to compare plans,” he said at the meeting.

Each state will have an online shopping interface for individual coverage and coverage for a small employer, according to LHEC. Individuals can use the website to compare options for coverage. The marketplace also offers subsidies and eligibility checks for Medicaid recipients.

He said there is a lot of miscommunication about the exchange and that the purpose of the coalition is to correct any misconceptions. Keller said the coalition was formed to get unbiased information to the public. He called Obamacare the “most sweeping health reform in 50 years.”

Keller recommended that those interested in using the marketplace consult with a local agent, broker or physician before buying health insurance online. Those now covered by their employer will be less affected by the reform, he said.

Online: www.lhec.net; www.healthcare.gov.

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