Notwithstanding the continuing political drama in Congress over funding for federal fiscal year 2014 and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was enacted in 2010 and upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court last year, the long-anticipated launch of health insurance marketplaces to expand health insurance coverage to tens of millions of Americans under the ACA begins tomorrow, October 1, 2013.

The Department of Health and Human Services website www.healthcare.gov (and www.cuidadodesalud.gov en espanol) will be the primary access point for individuals looking to enroll in health insurance coverage that will be effective January 1, 2014.  Unfortunately, the Spanish language website will not yet able to process online enrollments but Spanish language eligibility and health plan information, and downloadable applications translated into Spanish, which can be mailed in, will be available beginning tomorrow.

Here are the sixteen state-based health insurance marketplaces:

  1. Covered California (English and espanol)
  2. Connect for Health Colorado
  3. Access Health CT (Connecticut)(uses Google Translate)
  4. DC Health Link (District of Columbia)
  5. Hawaii Health Connector
  6. Get Covered Idaho
  7. Kynect (Kentucky)(English and espanol)
  8. Maryland Health Connection
  9. MA Health Connector (Massachusetts)
  10. MNSure (Minnesota)
  11. New York State of Health
  12. Nevada Health Link
  13. Cover Oregon (English and espanol)
  14. Health Source Rhode Island
  15. Vermont Health Connect
  16. Washington Health Plan Finder

While some of these websites have sophisticated user design, others look like dense government websites with difficult user navigation.  It is likely that many of the websites will not be able to support full enrollment functionality beginning on October 1, and that others may not be able to handle the expected initial surge in visitor traffic.

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