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AARP Bulletin

Washington Watch

Health Insurance Exchanges Will Make Medical Coverage Easier to Find — and Afford

Candle and bandage, Third anniversary of Affordable Care Act

Three years after being signed into law, the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges are about to begin. — Mike Morgan for AARP

En español | With the new health insurance exchanges mandated by the three-year-old Affordable Care Act on the horizon, people will soon be able to go online to compare and buy health insurance.

AARP is working to ensure that these marketplaces are consumer-friendly and offer affordable, quality health care choices. The marketplaces will help people find coverage and determine whether their premiums could be subsidized with a tax credit.

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The government website HealthCare.gov has been updated to feature personalized information about the exchanges. Consumers will be able to purchase qualified plans on the exchanges starting in October, with coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014.

The Department of Health and Human Services is still writing the regulations for setting up the exchanges. AARP is advocating for clear language and policies that make it simple to enroll in the exchanges.

"AARP fought to ensure the new health law would prevent insurance companies from pricing older Americans out of affordable coverage and denying people because of preexisting conditions," says Ariel Gonzalez, AARP's director of health and family advocacy. "Now we're working to ensure the new health marketplace is transparent and provides older Americans quality and affordable choices."

The Affordable Care Act and You

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