Wisconsin residents who do not have health insurance provided through their employer or no longer qualify for BadgerCare benefits can now sign up for coverage through a new federal health insurance exchange.
The exchange provides a marketplace for consumers to compare different health plans that are available. It will also reflect any subsidy Americans qualify for under the Affordable Care Act to help reduce premium costs.
State Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Kevin Moore says there’s plenty of information and advice available to help guide people, either through the exchange itself or by using Navigators or Certified Application Counselors. Those with questions about their options can look online or call 1-800-318-2596.
About 692,000 Wisconsin residents who purchase health insurance coverage through an exchange are expected to qualify for some level of subsidy to help reduce premium costs. Still, State Deputy Insurance Commissioner Dan Schwartzer says they might want to shop around. Only about half of the insurers competing in the individual market opted to display rates through the exchange. Even with the subsidy accounted for, Schwartzer says “if you’re a good shopper, you’re shopping all of the plans available.”
It remains unclear how quickly Americans who need to enroll in coverage through an exchange will move to do so. Open enrollment ends on December 15th.