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New health insurance markets: Not like Travelocity

July 25, 2013 • Business


This photo taken Wednesday, July 24, 2013, shows Christine Ferguson, director of the Rhode Island health insurance exchange, at the Statehouse, in Providence, R.I. You may have heard that shopping for health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul will be like using Travelocity or Amazon. But many people will end up with something more mundane than online shopping, like a call to the help desk. Struggling with a deadline crunch, some states are delaying online tools that could make it easier for consumers to find the right plan when the markets go live on Oct. 1. Ahead of open enrollment for millions of uninsured Americans, the feds and the states are investing in massive call centers. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

WASHINGTON (AP) — You may have heard that shopping for health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul will be like using Travelocity or Amazon.

But many people will end up with something more mundane than online shopping, like a call to the help desk.

Struggling with a deadline crunch, some states are delaying online tools that could make it easier for consumers to find the right plan when the markets go live on Oct. 1.

Ahead of open enrollment for millions of uninsured Americans, the feds and the states are investing in massive call centers.

“The description that this was going to be like Travelocity was a very simplistic way of looking at it,” said Christine Ferguson, director of the Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange. “I never bought into it.”

“The bottom line is that with tight timelines … states have had to scale back their initial ambitions for Day Login to read more

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