Long enrollment period gives healthcare marketplace users “study time”


If you’ve ever gotten “commercial” insurance through an employer, commonly called ESI or Employer Sponsored Insurance, you had a relatively brief window to enroll in health care coverage. Whether you signed up when you were hired, or when you became eligible, you were given anywhere from a day to several weeks to complete your paperwork.

Never, ever, were you given 6 months to enroll. One of the interesting facets of the launch of the federal Health Insurance Marketplace, or “Obamacare,” is the six month open enrollment period. With the web-portal uncertainties experienced by Healthcare.gov, the lengthy enrollment season is a boon to new healthcare “shoppers,” who are familiarizing themselves with the system and individual plans.

We expect to see insurance plans add more flexibility and broaden the provider networks as the system matures. I had an opportunity to talk about it with Lora Hines of the Houston Chronicle. The story ran here in the Chronicle, and here in the sister Spanish-language publication, La Voz.


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