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Early this morning, while the rest of Americans made their daily commutes to jobs or opened the doors of businesses, the government made the announcement that they would be closing down amid squabbles over, you guessed it – health care policy! This could not have been more perfect timing as the much-anticipated private health insurance exchanges also opened across America, giving individuals the freedom to choose their own health care benefits under the Affordable Health Care Act mandates.

Is the government shutdown a sign of the times?

Was this some kind of sign from the heavens that as consumers of the most wasteful health care system in the world, we had better be paying attention? Me thinks that America is in for a wild ride!

Amid the government shutdown, which consequently sent thousands of federal workers home for an indefinite period of time, the health insurance exchanges offer an alternative to the limited health care plans many employers have offered over the years. But do they come at a price?

The price of health care insurance for 2013 enrollment.

A Forbes article advised that the average cost of a health care plan under Obamacare will cost $328 per month, at the mid-level “Silver” plan. Depending on several factors, including your age, geographic location, marital status, family size, and income, you can expect to find some plans that are slightly less than that and many others that are significantly higher in costs.

You have choices when it comes to health care insurance.

The American dream has always been about freedom of choice. The health care exchanges offer up this choice in a black and white way. The New York Times is calling this event the “Dawn of a Revolution in Health Care”. Maybe our government leaders cannot see eye-to-eye on Obamacare or much of anything else, but we as a people have enough sense to choose what’s right for us and our families. Health benefit exchanges offer US Citizens the chance to voice their choice and not accept what is forced upon us under the guise of more government financial waste.

As a fellow American and concerned Human Resources professional, I encourage you to explore the newly opened health benefit exchanges in your state (if it participates) and see what your options are in health care insurance – both private and public.