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A Brief Guide to Health Insurance Exchanges
A key feature of the Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law in March 2010, is the creation of state-based "health insurance exchanges." Health insurance exchanges will offer individuals, families and small businesses the chance to shop for affordable insurance coverage in a competitive private health insurance marketplace.
Each state’s health insurance exchange will begin to provide insurance coverage by Jan. 1, 2014. Washington’s health insurance exchange, the "Washington Health Benefit Exchange," will be run as a public-private partnership. Starting Oct. 1, Washington residents can visit the Washington Health Benefit Exchange’s consumer website, wahealthplanfinder.org, to compare health insurance plans, get information about tax credits and financial assistance for copays and premiums, enroll in an insurance plan, and access online customer support. Washington residents will also be able to receive advice and assistance by phone or through local insurance agents. Open enrollment begins Oct. 1 and closes March 31. Coverage starts on Jan. 1.
For more information about Washington’s health insurance exchange, visit wahealthplanfinder.org.
For details about health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, visit healthcare.gov/what-is-the-health-insurance-marketplace or