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Obamacare Health Insurance Exchanges (HIX)

on 01 August, 2013

The Affordable Care Act was designed to make health insurance more affordable and easily attainable for Americans. Health Insurance Exchanges, scheduled to open on October 1, 2013, are an important component of this new medical insurance reform. These exchanges are online marketplaces for health insurance, controlled at a state, federal or joint-run level. Through the use of price calculators and new regulations, the Health Care Exchanges are predicted to help 29 million previously uninsured Americans purchase affordable health insurance by 2019. All exchanges are required to provide coverage by January 1, 2014.


Under the ACA, all individual and small group health plans will be required to offer insurance coverage divided into four different tiers called “metal levels.” These tiers are platinum, gold, silver and bronze, with platinum providing the most generous benefits and bronze providing the least. These tiers are designed to make an easier comparison for insurance shoppers. 

The Health Insurance Exchanges were also created to ease eligibility restrictions; an American cannot be denied coverage due to a medical condition. Prices will be determined by several factors, such as age and tobacco use. All plans are required to include ten medical services: ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, prescription drugs, rehabilitative services and devices, laboratory services, preventive and wellness services and chronic disease management, and pediatric services.

The Health Insurances Exchanges scheduled to start on October 1 will likely increase the number of insured Americans, as well as the amount of medical claims submitted. These exchanges will make it easier for uninsured Americans to find and obtain affordable health insurance.