Utah's health insurance marketplace for small businesses, Avenue H, has unveiled a new shopping portal that state officials promise will function more smoothly than the problem-plagued federal exchange for individuals.
Companies with one to 50 employees can register now at www.avenueh.com through Dec. 10 to buy health coverage effective in January.
And now they can do it directly, instead of working through an insurance broker as previously required, "making the whole process a lot simpler," said Avenue H director Patty Conner.
The requirement to sign up through brokers safeguarded employees' personal health information from disclosure to their employers. But the Affordable Care Act now forbids health insurers from considering a person's health status when setting premiums, so there's no longer any need to collect such information, explained Conner.