DENVER (AP) - LET THE SHOPPING BEGIN
Here it is - the big reveal for the new health care law. Colorado's health insurance marketplace goes live Tuesday. Individuals and small-business owners who need to buy health coverage by the end of the year can start searching for plans, reviewing premiums and signing up for government subsidies to help with the cost.
WHERE TO BEGIN?
Start at http://www.connectforhealthco.com . Click the "Let Us Help" tab to watch videos introducing the marketplace, calculators to estimate your payments and get a personal shopping assistant to walk you through your options.
PICK A COVERAGE LEVEL
The exchange will ask customers whether they want a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum plan. Those are fancy titles to shorthand levels of coverage. Bronze plans are the cheapest, but come with the highest out-of-pocket costs for consumers. Platinum plans generally have the highest monthly premiums, but cover more.
WHY USE THE EXCHANGE?
There's no requirement to use Connect For Health to meet the looming coverage mandate. But the state exchange is the only place to get government subsidies to defray your costs. In other words, if you're not rich, you'll want to use the exchange.
Health insurance shopping begins Tuesday, but customers have until the end of the year to get health insurance. Even if shoppers buy a plan Tuesday, coverage won't begin until 2014, so there's no advantage to buying a plan on Day One.
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