Health care reform should allow families to keep their insurance if they want to, or have access to better insurance options through the exchange. This means both making good health insurance plans available through the exchange and helping consumers make educated choices. Individuals and families need tools to compare plans and choose the one that works best for them—whether they are enrolling online, through a broker, or through community-based partner. It is important for these brokers and partners to be financially responsible to the individual or the exchange—not insurers.
There are precedents for this approach, but they need improvement. The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is the most oft-cited example of a system that helps individuals understand and access a range of health plans. FEHBP offers a user-friendly website for federal employees to browse and compare a wide range of public health plans.
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