Health insurance exchanges in every state are set to go live in 18 weeks, and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promises that open enrollment will begin as scheduled.
“We are on target and ready to flip the switch on Oct. 1,” Sebelius said during a conference call with reporters. Thirteen states, she noted, recently have announced that approved rates on the exchanges will be about 20% lower than previously estimated, and lower than what consumers were paying for comparable plans before.
She explained how federal education and enrollment efforts are in a tricky period because officials want to raise awareness as much as possible but don't want to give the public the misimpression that they can sign up right now. While consumers can visit the government website, www.healthcare.gov, and create an account, it's still too early to do much else.