2019 HealthCare.Gov Window Shopping is Now Live

Right alongside the 2019 Public Use Files being posted, HealthCare.Gov is now open for people to window shop for 2019 ACA individual market healthcare policies.

Remember, HC.gov only hosts the ACA marketplace for 39 states; 12 states operate their own marketplace websites, and most of those have been open for window shopping for several weeks now. In fact, Covered California has allowed people to actually sign up for 2019 since October 15th.

Anyway, it doesn't look like there have been too many technical or interface changes to HC.gov this year, but it's really, REALLY important that everyone SHOP AROUND. Do NOT, under any circumstances, allow yourself to be blindly, automatically renewed into the same policy you're in this year. Don't get me wrong, you may be better off just staying enrolled in the same policy, but make sure to plug in your household income/other info again to double-check the premiums, deductibles and of course what sort of tax credits you're eligible for. Also make sure to confirm that your doctor(s), hospital(s) and prescription medication(s) are still "in network" using the tool provided...and confirm that directly with your doctors/hospitals as well to be sure.

Some or all of these things may have changed DRAMATICALLY for better or for worse depending on your situation, the plan, the carrier and so on.