Health insurance exchanges on the horizon

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Starting Jan. 1, 2014, all states must have fully operational health insurance exchanges in place. Health insurance exchanges, also known as HIXs or Marketplaces, will be a one-stop shop for all individuals and small businesses to compare and choose among an array of affordable, comprehensive options, and purchase health insurance plans.

States have been preparing for these exchanges since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010 and have had a choice to opt for a state based exchange, federally facilitated exchange or a partnership exchange. See what your state is opting for.

The exchanges will certify and offer plans that cover at a minimum the 10 categories of essential health benefits (EHBs) required as part of the act. The proposed rule on the EHBs was released in November 2012 and the final rule in late February. Stay tuned to for an analysis of the rule and other resources.