While the federal government prepares to build and operate statewide health insurance exchanges in about half of the states, it also needs to make significant fixes to a Web portal already in operation to help consumers compare health insurance options.

The Healthcare.gov Plan Finder site is a bridge between passage of the health reform law in 2010 and state exchanges, which are expected to start operating in October 2013. Roughly half of the states will build an exchange themselves or in partnership with the federal government, while the feds will handle the task in the other half.

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