AL gives limited cooperation as federal health exchange comes on - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

AL gives limited cooperation as federal health exchange comes online

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

One of the cornerstones of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, goes into effect in less than two weeks: The healthcare exchanges.

The State of Alabama has vowed not to set up one of these marketplaces, but it's still cooperating, to an extent, with the federal government.

On October 1, 2013 anyone will be able to buy health insurance and compare plans on Alabama's federally-facilitated exchange.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley announced in 2012 that the state would not participate, deliberately allowing the federal government to decide what's best for the state, instead of stepping in.

Now, Alabama is complying on a limited scale with the federal government.

In a statement, the Alabama Department of Insurance says, "Federal law requires that before any plan can be offered on the federally-facilitated marketplace in Alabama, the Alabama Department of Insurance must review it and make sure that it complies with state law."

Now, three companies, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, Humana, and United Healthcare have all applied to offer plans on the state's federally run exchange.

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