Here is a chart from the Wonk Blog of the Washington Post showing how complex the new health insurance exchanges will be.
The Obama administration anticipated that 5 or 6 states, only, would not elect to build their own health insurance exchanges. They were surprised in November and December of last year to find that they would need to build 34 different exchanges for Individuals and 34 S.H.O.P. exchanges for small businesses in less than 10 months.
Although the Obama White House claims that all the exchanges will be functional on October 1, it is wise to remember that there is a difference between functional and polished.
Everything I have read, from both inside and outside of the Department of Health and Human Services, say that there is not enough time for complete testing of all 68 exchanges before the National Open Enrollment.
If you elect to buy your Obamacare Qualifying Health Plan on the Federally Facilitated Exchanges in 2013, it is possible that you will experience computer problems.
Unless you have no other option for health insurance, my advice is to delay enrollment until the last half of December. I know that may interfere with your holiday plans but it will give HHS a little more time to identify computer glitches and correct them.
There will also be a vibrant marketplace outside of the exchanges, in many states, from which you may buy an Essential Benefit Policy that meets the standards required by Obamacare.
My advice for you is to use the Federally Facilitated Exchanges only in two instances.
- You need federal help paying the premiums
- The insurance company you want only sells through the exchanges.