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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

State agencies, insurers prepare for health exchange launch

Even though the federal government will run Florida's health exchange, state agencies and local insurers are making plans to meet the demand for information. Here is an excerpt from today's story explaining how companies are preparing for the open enrollment period:

The federal government surprised big employers by delaying a key provision of the health care law, but that doesn't mean the law is going away entirely.

A nationwide marketing blitz aimed to help millions of people understand the coming changes and sign up for health care is already underway. The increased demand for information is likely to trickle down to state agencies and local insurance companies.

"This is complicated stuff, and there could be a lot of confusion out there," said Craig Thomas, chief strategy marketing officer at Florida Blue. "So we feel like anything we can do to help consumers understand their choices and actually enroll and get coverage is helpful."

Florida Blue will offer a variety of plans on the health exchange that the federal government will operate in Florida. Starting Oct. 1, people will be able to go online, apply for tax subsidies and purchase insurance policies.

Until then, the federal government is working on educating people about the options and their responsibilities. Individuals who don't purchase insurance in 2014 could face a $95 tax penalty.

Read more here.

[Last modified: Friday, July 5, 2013 11:16am]


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