As of October 1, the federal government-run health insurance exchanges will be open to the public. However, Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen is advising Montanans to wait a bit before they enroll.

"Any time you make a huge change like this and you put this big technology in place, there's probably going to be some bumps along the way with the technology," Lindeen said. "They'll get those all ironed out, probably in the first couple of weeks. What I'm advising people to do is to kind of just do their research the first couple of weeks. Then, once they've worked out the bugs, they can start enrolling and purchasing."

It's important to note that the insurance coverage on the exchanges will not be able to be used at every hospital or for every type of medication. Though the number of hospitals in the networks vary from plan to plan, Lindeen said each one of the insurance plans was deemed by her office to have an “adequate network of providers.”

"What you need to do is look at the network that they have available to make sure that your doctor and your hospital are included in their network," Lindeen said. "Make sure that if you have a particular prescription drug that needs to be covered, that those are covered. You really need to look at the specifics of the different plans to figure out what is going to meet your needs."

For research, Lindeen recommends that Montanans go to to view the plans themselves. If questions remain, the Commissioner's website includes a question and answer forum for Montanans to get the answers they need.

Commissioner Lindeen is currently traveling the state to educate the public about the exchanges. She was in Missoula September 30 and will be heading to Great Falls and Kalispell over the next two days.

Monica Lindeen: