Federal health insurance exchange opened for previews yesterday

Health Insurance exchange marketplaces

Over the weekend, the marketplace website opened its doors for window shoppers to have a look.

Consumers living in the 38 states that are served by the federal health insurance exchange are now able to have an advance look at how the website works and what it will have to offer when the open enrollment period begins with the start of November.

This will allow them to get a feel for the new site’s navigation and calculate what out of pocket costs would be.

Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services announced that Sunday would represent the opening of the health insurance exchange site for people who were interested in browsing its faster design that is meant to be easier to use. That said, despite the fact that it is supposed to show people what they are to expect when the open enrollment period officially begins on November 1, there is still one feature of the HealthCare.gov website that was not quite ready for the preview time.

Consumers visiting the health insurance exchange site won’t yet be able to see certain plan specifics.

Health Insurance exchange marketplacesThough consumers will be able to have a look at the types of health plans that will be sold over the insurance marketplace website and they will be able to calculate overall out of pocket costs to help them to decide which plans will be most appropriate for their needs, one new tool is not yet available. That is the site feature that would show consumers exactly which prescription drugs and doctors would be covered by the different plans.

Furthermore, Department of Health and Human Services officials declined to comment as to whether or not that feature would be in place by the November 1 start of the open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act coverage.

That period will continue to run until January 31, 2016. Consumers who do not use the health insurance exchange or otherwise obtain coverage that complies with the Affordable Care Act (and who are not eligible for a hardship exemption) will be require to pay a per-person penalty of $695 on their taxes for that year.

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