Do you want quality health insurance? Access to affordable insurance plans for your family or employees? A marketplace that provides options for rural communities? Now is the time to make your voice heard on these issues.

The Nebraska Department of Insurance has already hosted a series of meetings to gather public input about the health insurance marketplace (or “exchange”) they are responsible for setting up before 2014. Even if you missed these meetings, you can still weigh in to shape a marketplace that will make quality health insurance more accessible and affordable. The Department wants to hear from Nebraskans about how you think the marketplace should be set up.

You can tell the Department what matters to your family, your community, and your employees about setting up our new health insurance marketplace. The marketplace has the potential to make important changes for the way Nebraskans can purchase health insurance.

For example, once the marketplace is set up, you could easily compare health insurance policies for your family or small business. Small businesses and individuals could pool together their negotiating power in order to get better rates. Governance of the marketplace could reflect the groups who are most likely to purchase plans from it, instead of those with a financial stake in the industry. And information on the marketplace could be available regardless of where consumers are located, with the help of web-based and non web-based services as well as in-person navigators.

These important benefits can, with your help and input, become a reality. It is already established in the Affordable Care Act that this marketplace will be set up, but how exactly it will work to best serve Nebraskans has yet to be decided. That’s why the Department of Insurance needs to hear from the folks in Nebraska most likely to purchase plans through the marketplace (self employed individuals, farmers and ranchers, small business owners).

And personal stories will make your comments to the Department even more powerful. Has the new health care law already benefited you, your family, or your employees? Why will the marketplace be a valuable resource for you? What are your main priorities and concerns as the Department of Insurance moves forward to develop this resource for Nebraskans? Write to the Department of Insurance today.