By Michelle Andrews
This material was published by Kaiser Health News.
As the state health insurance marketplaces, also called exchanges, get set to launch in October, many people have questions about the coverage that will be offered there. Here are a few that were posed to me recently.
Q. Are there unintended consequences of shopping through an exchange? For example, are the benefits of a plan with a lower monthly premium less comprehensive than the benefits of an expensive plan? And are there plans available only to people who qualify for subsidies, so that once income increases, the consumer must switch to a different plan?
A. All plans sold on the exchanges must cover 10 so-called essential health benefits, including prescription drugs, emergency and hospital care, and maternity and newborn care.
For the most part, the plans will differ not in which benefits they cover but in the proportion of costs that consumers will be responsible for paying.