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Opinion: WA Health exchange transparency coming, access next

The Olympian, June 30, 2014
The opportunity for individual consumers to do comparative shopping for health care insurance is one of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. People can pick insurance carriers and choose from a variety of plan options that fit their personal budget. But the system only works if consumers have easy access to robust information, and until recently that wasn't the case in the state of Washington. After the initial roll-out of the state's health benefit exchange this year, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler heard from consumers who were upset to find their new health plan didn't include their preferred doctor or hospital. The problem stemmed from ambiguity about the plans and how people could find the information they needed.