The new healthcare law calls for the creation of health insurance “exchanges.” This is a new entity intended to create a more organized and competitive market for health insurance by offering consumers a choice of affordable medical insurance plans, establishing common rules and pricing for medical insurance, and providing standardized information to help consumers better understand the choices available to them.
Health insurance exchanges are key to providing the uninsured with access to medical insurance coverage and facilitating changes to the individual medical insurance marketplace. Their purpose and function include:
- Offering consumers a choice of medical insurance plans and focusing competition on price – covered services and cost sharing (i.e., deductibles, coinsurance or copayments, and out-of-pocket limits) are organized and presented in ways that make comparison shopping across medical insurance plans easier for consumers.
- Giving information to consumers – in conjunction with offering a choice of medical insurance plans, an exchange is intended to provide consumers with transparent information about health insurance plan provisions, such as premium costs and covered benefits, including each medical insurance plan’s performance in encouraging wellness, managing chronic illnesses, and improving consumer satisfaction.
- Providing customer service – exchanges also serve a customer service function, assisting consumers who encounter billing or access problems with their medical insurance plan.
- Creating an administrative mechanism for enrollment – health insurance exchanges will determine eligibility for and administer and apply income-related subsidies.
In January 2014, health insurance exchanges will also significantly change how health insurance companies sell individual medical insurance coverage. In most states today, adults age 19 and older buying medical insurance coverage in the individual market (non-group or employer sponsored) can be denied coverage based on their health status. Beginning in January 2014, individual medical insurance plans are prohibited from medically underwriting applicants. As a result, individuals cannot be declined and pre existing medical conditions must be covered.
Individuals, families and the self employed searching for a major medical insurance plan at healthinsuranceadvisory.org will realize a very similar shopping experience as the health insurance exchanges. Our online medical insurance quotes can be sorted and organized by price, health insurance company, deductible, etc. to make comparison shopping much easier. Enrollment is even handled online too!