Health Insurance Q & A - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Health Insurance Q & A

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The Affordable Healthcare Act is moving forward despite the federal government shutdown.

The open enrollment period for what is better known as 'Obamacare' began on October first for policies that will be effective starting the first of the year.

North Dakota's largest provider of health coverage is keeping members informed of the changes.

Jennifer Thorgramson tells us how Blue Cross Blue Shield is keeping healthy lines of open communication.

The Health Insurance Marketplace is open for business with 173 days left to enroll.

With the new buzz on new insurance policies, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota is making sure existing members get answers.

(JD Nichols, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota) "The goal today is really to educate people and deal with some of the uncertainty that's out there in the market. People don't understand health insurance generally and then to add insult to injury, there's a lot of confusion regarding the affordable care act."

The good news for Blue Cross Blue Shield members: the changes to existing plans are few.

(JD Nichols, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota) "If you look at a plan now, or what will be available after the first of January versus what has been available in the past, there's a lot of plans that are very similar. There are very little adjustments."

Nichols says the best thing an individual can do is find a trusted advisor.

(JD Nichols, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota) "We have definitely staffed up for this and we've been in two years, more like three years, of nothing but preparation for this."

Nichols says the government shutdown has had little impact on the open enrollment period, however, he says the health insurance marketplace website at healthcare.gov has been bogged down preventing eligibility files from being completed.

Something required of new members before December 15 in order to have an insurance policy effective the first of the year.

In Minot, Jennifer Thorgramson, KX News.

Regardless of which insurance company you're with, rates will change in 2014 for the 2015 plan depending on family size and income.

For more information visit www.ItStartsWithBLUE.com or call 1-800-280-BLUE.

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