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This year has seen a number of essential changes in the health insurance market as it prepares for the enactment of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014. The setting up of health insurance exchanges within each individual state plays a key role in this health initiative.

Because of the new mandates of the ACA on insurance carriers, the role of exchanges carries greater responsibilities and is more defined. In accordance with ACA requirements, insurance carriers:

  • Cannot refuse health insurance to individuals due to preexisting conditions
  • Must limit cost of health insurance, to include consumer out-of-pocket expenses
  • Must have strict regulations concerning rescission of coverage
  • Must eliminate lifetime and annual limits

Exchanges represent insurance carriers that operate within these mandates. Their job is to help consumers in their search for a suitable healthcare provider. Every person is different when it comes to health insurance needs. Exchanges act as intermediaries between the consumer and insurers, providing you with detailed information on health plans, coverage, possible subsidies, costs, etc., so you can make a better informed decision on the health insurance company you choose. A well-run exchange will promote health insurance transparency as well as accountability. It will utilize online technology as well as personal communication to help you find the personalized healthcare plan best suited to your needs, to include preferred doctor and hospital networks, budget, etc.

The ACA encourages the setting up of private exchanges in each state to facilitate the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. These exchanges will be known as American Health Benefits (AHB) Exchanges. It is President Obama’s hope that future healthcare in America will be … “a market where Americans can one-stop for a health care plan, compare benefits and prices, and choose the plan that’s best for them… None of these plans should deny coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition, and all of these plans should include an affordable based benefit package that includes prevention and protection against catastrophic costs.”

For more information about exchanges and how they can help you, contact your California health care specialists at Save-On Insurance Services, Inc.