An exchange by any other name

Health reform is full of jargon, and here’s another term to learn: Access Health.

That’s the winner of a search for a new name for Connecticut’s health insurance exchange, the virtual store for selling coverage that will open next fall.

The exchange’s staff spent two months researching “consumer friendly” name options, and testing the possibilities. The process included interviews with more than 300 people over two rounds of research.

The goal was to find a name that fit the brand the exchange is trying to achieve: “A trusted adviser to state residents and small businesses in need of qualify health insurance,” and a “safe and objective destination for support” in selecting health insurance coverage.

Some of the best-rated options — Health Connection, Healthy Choice and Healthy Connecticut –were nixed for legal and trademark reasons.

The other options tested?

Health Link, Health Bridge, Health Pass, Coverage Connection, Constitution Health and Health Portal.

Whatever it’s called, the exchange will operate as a virtual store for individuals and small businesses to buy health insurance as part of federal health reform. It will begin selling plans next fall, and they’ll take effect Jan. 1, 2014. Many people are expected to be eligible for federal subsidies to help pay for the coverage. Most or all of the health plans are expected to be offered by private insurance companies.