Patients buying health insurance through an Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange will no longer have to complete the transaction via HealthCare.gov.
The move is intended to help bring stability to the health insurance market, Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said in a statement.
“It is common sense to make it as simple and easy as possible for consumers to shop for and access health coverage,” she said. “It is time to get the federal government out of the way and give patients the best tools to make their own health care decision.”
The change will take effect with the open enrollment period for the 2018 coverage year.
Since the beginning of the health insurance exchanges, patients were required to complete their coverage applications via. Feedback from users indicated that “the process was confusing and made it harder to complete the application,” Ms. Verma said in a statement.
The move comes as the Republican-led Congress and the Trump Administration seek to repeal and replace the ACA. This move would deemphasize the government’s role in providing coverage as consumers could potentially avoid contact with HealthCare.gov altogether if they are using a third party to purchase coverage.