Obamacare exchanges are live!

10/01/2013 05:17:00 PM
Today is October 1st, so that means that the new health insurance exchanges, where you can shop for, compare, and purchase individual, small-group, or family health insurance policies. These plans are all community rated, using the entire exchange as a risk pool, which means that your individual rates won't depend on the health status of you or other members on your insurance plan. That means you might pay a little more for the insurance while you remain healthy (though there are subsidies for most of you), but your premiums will be way, way lower if you get sick.

Eventually, Healthcare.gov will be your gateway to these new health insurance exchanges. By all accounts it is an extremely well designed website, though there are reports of a few technical glitches. That said, remember that October 1st is an advance-start date--Obamacare doesn't actually begin until January 1st, 2014, but officials at HHS wanted to get the exchanges up and running ahead of schedule in order to work out the kinks, which is exactly what they're doing now.

So, keep that in mind when you read stories about Obamacare glitches. They opened the exchanges early expressly to work out glitches once Obamacare actually goes into effect in January--everything is so far going according to plan.