Go Online to Preview 2018 Obamacare Health Insurance Plans

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If you buy your health insurance through government-run exchanges, you now can view 2018 plan details online. And you should do so soon.

Healthcare.gov, the federal government website associated with the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — reports that you can now preview available 2018 plans with personalized price estimates.

To preview plans, visit Healthcare.gov’s “2018 health insurance plans & prices” webpage and enter your ZIP code. If you live in a state that has its own health insurance exchange, you should be redirected to the website for your state’s exchange.

Healthcare.gov notes you will be asked a few questions about your household and your estimated 2018 income before you can view available health insurance plans.

If you preview prior to Nov. 1, the start date for Obamacare open enrollment, you will see price estimates. But if you fill out or update an application for the federal health insurance marketplace — the shopping and enrollment service for medical insurance created by the ACA — during open enrollment, you will see exact prices.

Open enrollment for the federal exchange

If you buy insurance through the federal exchange, it’s important to preview plans ASAP. Not only does open enrollment start soon — on Nov. 1 — but it will also end on Dec. 15, which is earlier than in past years.

So, open enrollment will last six weeks — half as long as it did last year.

Open enrollment for state exchanges

The federal government operates the health insurance marketplace for most states. But some states operate their own exchanges. If you purchase insurance through a state-based exchange, confirm the dates of its open enrollment period. They could differ from the open enrollment dates for the federal exchange.

For a list of the states operating their own exchanges for 2018, and links to their websites, check out this page at Healthcare.gov.

Open enrollment for other types of insurance

If you get health insurance through an employer — which is the case for most Americans — be sure to check out “3 Simple Steps to Prepare for Open Enrollment at Work.”

For Medicare open enrollment details, check out “7 Things You Need to Know About Medicare.”

Do you feel ready for open enrollment? Sound off below or on Facebook.