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Countdown to Obamacare: Exchanges for individuals start October 1

MADISON (WRN-WSAU)  Open enrollment through the federal health exchange begins on October 1, and state officials say they are ready for next week’s launch of the new federal health insurance exchange.

State Deputy Insurance Commissioner Dan Schwartzer says they have done all they can to get providers and staff ready for the roll-out. “We’ve made the finish line by October 1st. We’ve got the agents that have been trained, the regional enrollment networks are up, the carriers that have decided to be on the exchange are on the exchange. At this point, we believe Wisconsin’s ready.”

An estimated 692,000 Wisconsinites are expected to purchase health insurance coverage through an exchange, with many of them qualifying for subsidies that will help reduce premium costs. Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Kevin Moore says they will be watching to see how quickly people move to apply for coverage, and have already been monitoring call centers and other areas to see if there’s an uptick in people contacting the state with questions.

 

The exchange is a marketplace for different health plans being run by the federal government, after the state declined to set up its own version. Residents will be able to apply online, in-person, through the mail, or by contacting a call-center. Open enrollment will run through December 15th.

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