2015 ACA health insurance enrollment period begins Saturday

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The Obamacare 2.0 federal exchange is now open for window shopping.

Though enrollment doesn’t begin until Nov. 15, consumers can now see what health insurance plans are offered in their area by going to the federal exchange, healthcare.gov. Estimated premiums, deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket costs for 2015 are prominently displayed, and shoppers can sort by premium or deductible.

“New features will give consumers a comprehensive picture of the plans in their area so they can choose the one that’s right for them,” said Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which runs the exchange.

The advanced look is one of many changes being implemented by the Obama administration, which came under heavy criticism last year after the federal exchange crashed on opening day and remained hobbled for three months. The exchange is now being overseen by a chief executive, Kevin Counihan, who led Connecticut’s state exchange.

President Obama has promised the site will function better this year.

“We’re really making sure the website works super well … we’re double and triple checking it,” he said last week.

Last year, consumers had to start the enrollment process before they could browse plans, though a window shopping feature was added later. That feature proved to be the most popular section on healthcare.gov, regularly capturing three times the traffic of any other page on the website.

The administration is under pressure to make sure Obamacare 2.0 runs smoothly. While 7.3 million people were enrolled this year, the goal for 2015 is 13 million. And the enrollment period is half the length, running from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15.

Some 37 states are using the federal exchange for 2015.

Those browsing the federal exchange will find a 30% increase in the number of insurers offering plans for 2015. State-based exchanges are also attracting more insurers.

Overall, many consumers will be able to find cheaper plans, as well, though they may have to switch insurers to secure a lower price, according to a report issued last week by the Urban Institute.

TM & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

7 comments

  • Branko Pezdi

    How about WHNT start reporting the truth on Obamacare instead of lies such as “many consumers will be able to find cheaper plans”. For MOST consumers the opposite is the case. Hey WHNT, how about you start with Jonathan Gruber, which your mothership CBS and its sister media puppets are ignoring entirely in their continued sycophantic efforts to prop up and support the greatest failure as President the country has ever suffered through.

    • Say What

      Blanko, maybe the news is not covering what you think they should because it does not exist! Wow, imagine that — the real news ignoring your fantasy world! Go back to the Faux news station for your hallucinations!

      • truthliveshere

        The two points that Branko bring up DO exist. Most consumers CANNOT find cheaper plans. And as far as that goes, Obamacare has wrecked health insurance for those of us that work and have employer-sponsored coverage. Where I’m employed we HAD a Cadillac plan that had dirt cheap premiums, until the socialist savior imposed his will and basically said “No one is going to have insurance this good, I’ll tax these Cadillac plans until you can’t afford them.” Which is what happened and now we have garbage at a much higher premium. But I digress… Branko’s second point about Jonathan Gruber is very valid. What Gruber said can be read at many different news outlets. The bottom line is this, Obamacare only benefits those who depend on the government to sustain their lifestyle.

      • Say What

        Truthy, I do not believe a word that you said. I know many people with a very different experience with the Affordable Care Act. I history will prove one of us wrong!

    • B

      I agree, I’m sure everyone would like to hear how ignorant their government thinks they are! Don’t believe it? Listen to Gruber explain it, in 3 different videos so far!

      • Branko Pezdi

        Even CBS News (!!) is starting to report some of the truth about Obamacare ( http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obamacare-2015-higher-costs-higher-penalties/ ), yet here are WHNT’s unthinking drones foisting these phony happy face “news” articles on their readers. I remember about 2 months ago WHNT posting as “news” some random UAH biology professor gushing over the economics of Obamacare, thereby driving Say What into another spasm of ecstasy on these comment boards. (The UAH biology department is as Insane Left as they come; check out some of the incredibly juvenile articles and cartoons attacking conservatives posted on their office doors). The Jonathan Gruber revelations are the real smoking gun and huge news that WHNT ignores entirely. If WHNT wants to enter the realm of non-local news then it should do so with integrity. I see none here. Pitiful.

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