Health Care Marketplace: Follow the dots

directionI had a call a few days ago from a woman who was stuggling to find the “Iowa Health Insurance Exchange” on line.  She had put that phrase into her search engine and come up with lots of options – some that were “dot-com” sites, others that were “dot-org” sites.  Among the options were a few “dot-gov” sites.

Listening to the news, it’s easy for our minds to become cluttered with phrases.  And we’ve become accustomed to being able to “google” anything to find it. 

If you, or someone you know, is looking for the official health insurance marketplace in your state, the place to begin your search is at   Key point: use “dot-gov.”

Why does it matter? Starting somewhere else could lead to misdirection and possible problems.  Other sites may have a sales motive or a political agenda. A worst-case scenario might be identity theft; another risk is that a person might enroll in a health plan through another site and miss out on the cost reductions that are only available in the official health insurance marketplace.

Help your friends avoid misdirection! Remind them that, even though it’s not yet working as well as we would like, the correct website to find health coverage with the new Premium Tax Credits and Cost-Sharing Reductions is



Barb Wollan

Barb Wollan's goal as a Family Finance program specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is to help people use their money according to THEIR priorities. She provides information and tools, and then encourages folks to focus on what they control: their own decisions about what to do with the money they have.

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