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As the administration works toward fixing healthcare.gov, there is another crucial part of the health insurance marketplace enrollments that hasn’t received a lot of attention – navigators. As it was widely expected, navigators have played a large role in helping people enroll. With the system experiencing issues, more people than expected have turned to the navigators for help.

Unfortunately for the navigators, there were some unforeseen issues that are hampering the ability of the navigators to do their job.

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After a rough start, healthcare.gov (the Federally Facilitated Marketplace) is beginning to experience a bit of a recovery. Although the launch was plagued with system crashes, non-availability and incorrect subsidy calculations, things are finally starting to look up.

According to the government, millions of enrollments were expected in the initial stages of the health reform rollout. Projections indicated that nearly half a million enrollments were expected within the first 30 days. However, enrollments were a lot lower than the projections. The problem was not limited to the site usability; it was also about the data that was being sent by the system. Several health plans experienced incorrect enrollments, missing information and individuals enrolling in multiple plans. The end result was incorrect data in the system and failed enrollments.  On the other hand, the states that opted to run their own exchanges were performing better but still dealing with less than expected enrollments.

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According to latest reports, the health insurance marketplace of South Dakota will be a costly affair. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has revealed that under the federal exchange, South Dakotans would have to pay more for insurance premiums than people in neighboring states.

The study has based its findings on the facts that have come out of a close analysis of rates that will prevail in South Dakota. For comparison, the report takes into account a family of 4 with a monthly income of $50,000. Analysis reveals that South Dakotans will have to pay $141 per month after subsidies and tax credits. This means that there is a gap of $46 per month as the national average hovers around $95 per month.

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With health insurance marketplace deadline approaching fast, Alaska is relying on the federal government. As one of the 27 states that will be utilizing the Federally Facilitated Marketplace, Alaska needs to concentrate on educating residents about the marketplace and promoting general knowledge about the program.

The state is relying on the health exchange navigator role. Health insurance marketplace navigators platform are a group of trained individuals who will be responsible for guiding residents on enrollment and selecting plans within the exchange. The United Way of Anchorage and Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium will each receive a $300,000 federal grant for the hiring and training of navigators.

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The big day for health insurance marketplaces, October 1, is coming and Michiganians are looking forward to it. The view is that the exchange will bring better coverage, affordable health insurance and greater benefits. Expectations are running high and Michigan organizations are gearing up for the big day. So, how’s the preparation going? Let’s take a look.

The first, crucial step is to establish a marketplace with top insurance carriers who can provide affordable health insurance and a wide range of benefits. Fourteen health insurers submitted their plans and offerings, totaling approximately 170 plans, to the Michigan government for approval. The approval process is still underway and results are expected before the second week of September.

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From a general perspective, the health insurance marketplace is going to revolutionize health insurance. But it is going to be a tough path, especially when you consider the lack of general knowledge of the exchanges and the abundance of variables. At the same time, the outlook toward these marketplaces is generally positive. But, a closer look at Florida reveals that the state could be heading toward disruption.

Florida chose not to implement its own exchange and is relying to the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM). The main issue in Florida is that the top health insurance organizations and some businesses have not bought in to the marketplace. Why is this happening? Here are a few reasons why all is not well in Florida health insurance market.

•    Most businesses feel that government has been slow at implementing and spreading information about FFM.  Having more of an impact, though, is that the Affordable Care Act remains a lightning rod for politicians and residents.

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Contrary to the plan of reducing health insurance premiums through health insurance marketplaces, it seems that Mississippi residents who purchase health insurance off exchanges might encounter higher premiums than the current market average. Pundits are claiming that the rise in insurance premiums can be attributed to the fact that only two insurance carriers will be participating in the exchange.

As of now, 54,000 uninsured residents will have the choice of Humana and Magnolia Health for their insurance needs. Preliminary calculations are showing the average premium at $312 for Magnolia and $302 for Humana. In defense of this estimation, Mississippi officials have pointed out certain imperative aspects of these insurance premiums.

1)    Increased Coverage and Better Quality – In light of the higher premiums, officials state that the increased coverage and better quality of provided insurance is going to offset the higher premiums. In a nutshell, the premiums would still be competitive according to today’s market standards.

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The health insurance marketplaces are being setup to provide consumers with more options and more choices. The online marketplaces are intended to bring together insurance carriers and promote competition with the aim of driving costs down. When the insurance marketplace goes live on October 1, consumers will be able to choose from a variety of carriers and find a plan that fits their needs and budget. However, Hawaii residents will be dealing a less choice on the Hawaiian marketplace.

The Hawaii health insurance exchange, Hawaii Health Connector, will open with two carriers, Hawaii Medical Service Association and Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. There is some concern that with only two carriers, there will be a spike in rates once the marketplace launches.  There are multiple reasons for this worrying lack of competition in the state.

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