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Don't forget HealthCare.Gov's OFF-EXCHANGE plan finder...

This is a quick post...to be honest, it's mainly here just to remind myself to refer to the link again for a later project. But I just wanted to remind everyone that in addition to the exchange-based Qualified Health Plan listings at HealthCare.Gov (which cover 38 states) and the rate review database where you can search through the proposed (and, eventually, approved) rate hikes for every ACA-compliant individual or small group policy by carrier, there's also a third HC.gov database: The Plan Finder.

Welcome to Plan Finder

This Plan Finder website is provided by the federal government to help you find private health plans available outside the Health Insurance Marketplace. We want you to find health insurance that best fits your budget and meets your needs.

Often, that insurance will be available in the Marketplace. But additional health plans are offered outside the Marketplace. You might want to explore these options too. If you’re looking for coverage for you and/or your family or you work for a small business and you’re looking for coverage through your employer, this Plan Finder can help you do that.

As a reminder: In order to receive federal financial assistance for helping pay for your policy, you have to enroll via either HealthCare.Gov or one of the state-based exchanges. However, if your income is over 400% of the federal poverty line (around $97,000 for a family of 4), or you have to pay full price for some other reason, it might make more sense to enroll directly through a carrier, which saves jumping through some paperwork hoops. That's where the Plan Finder comes in.

It's important to note that the off-exchange Plan Finder may not be comprehensive; it's more of a courtesy convenience, and being listed in it is optional for the carriers, so there might be some off-exchange carriers/plans missing from the database, although there's absolutely no downside to them being listed. Still, my guess is that it covers the vast majority of off-exchange policies.

While you can compare the plans against each other, once you get the results, you'll still have to go directly to the carrier's website (or call them up) to actually enroll...and unless you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you can only do that during Open Enrollment starting November 1st.

The interface itself is very similar to the normal exchange website; you plug in a few basic specs about yourself and your family and you're off and running: