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State agencies, insurers prepare for health exchange launch

The federal government surprised big employers by delaying a key provision of the health care law, but that doesn't mean the law is going away entirely.

A nationwide marketing blitz aimed to help millions of people understand the coming changes and sign up for health care is already underway. The increased demand for information is likely to trickle down to state agencies and local insurance companies.

"This is complicated stuff, and there could be a lot of confusion out there," said Craig Thomas, chief strategy marketing officer at Florida Blue. "So we feel like anything we can do to help consumers understand their choices and actually enroll and get coverage is helpful."

Florida Blue will offer a variety of plans on the health exchange that the federal government will operate in Florida. Starting Oct. 1, people will be able to go online, apply for tax subsidies and purchase insurance policies.

Until then, the federal government is working on educating people about the options and their responsibilities. Individuals who don't purchase insurance in 2014 could face a $95 tax penalty.

Read more here.

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whasup

It's not the "big" companies the delay help. Most already provide insurance, or keep their employees part-time, under the threshold.

It's the small companies who employee folks full-time but can't afford to offer insurance that this helps.

Of course, this delay is just a cynical ploy to avoid damage to the Democrats in next year's election that would come from some horror stories of Obamacare causing layoffs.

Redundant

The law actually aims at companies with more than 50 employees and then exempts the first 30 from any penalties. This is a very limited penalty for less than 1% of businesses. Compare this to the 1 million Floridians our legislature prevented from getting health care by turning down $50 billion in federal money. Cynical ploy? Tell that to a feverish 7 year old while they wait for 8 hours in an emergency room.

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