Affordable Care Act insurance shopping to go online

By 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.