Coming Soon: Government Website to Help Consumers Navigate Health Insurance Market

The individual health insurance market is notoriously difficult to navigate. Finding insurers and the getting to the straight facts on plans, premiums, and requirements is a daunting task.

Help is on the way. Beginning on July 1, a government website will provide a list of private and government health care plans available for individuals and small businesses.

The site is a requirement of The Patient Affordable Health Care Act and will list the names of insurers and their health plans, along with links to insurers for further information.

That’s a start, but in October, additional information will be added to better assist consumers with locating the plans that suit them best. The site will post information on costs and benefits, including details about the percentage of claim denials, rate of cancellations after customers get sick, and the number of appeals. Insurers can’t be pleased about that, but well-informed consumers will benefit.

An article from Kaiser Health News quotes an Aetna spokesman as saying “Let’s do what the legislation sets out and not overcomplicate, which will lead to consumer confusion and higher costs.” A co-founder of Health Care for All New York is quoted in the same article as saying the site can The site can “be the great equalizer so consumers can have equal access to information and be on the same playing field as insurance companies.”

The bad news is that until 2014, insurers will still be allowed to deny coverage or charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions. The only difference is that the information will be there for all to see. As I wrote in a previous post, things will likely get worse before they get better for those of us in the individual market.

The site is intended as an informational tool only — consumers will still need to contact individual insurance companies directly in order to sign up for health plans.

In 2014, when the bulk of the health care legislation takes effect, additional websites will come online for the mandatory state-based insurance exchanges, making it easier for small business and people in the individual market to research health insurance options.

As of this writing, HealthCare.gov is not up and running, so be sure to check back on July 1.

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Photo courtesy PhotoXpress.com


34 comments

Borg Drone
Borg Drone5 years ago

Thank You !!

vladimir b.
nobo dy5 years ago

thanks

Rosana S.
Rosana S.5 years ago

A friend of mine told me about a site that offer 40% discount on health insurance.I tried this company.They are great.You can check their site.

http://www.MyBestHealthInsurance.Info

Kel H.
Kel H.5 years ago

Thank Goodness! I've been without health care for 5 years now!!! When you work full time and you still can't get insurance its very frustrating to not be able to take proper care of yourself. our healthcare system is way overdue for a complete overhaul! If America would pay it doctors to make the patients well like they do in England and not pay them to "push pills" we would all be in a better situation. In health care its all about money....now its about giving everyone a chance at recieveing healthcare

gail d.
gail dair5 years ago

thanks for post

Jenny Dooley
Jenny Dooley5 years ago

This will be wonderful!

Billie C.
Billie C.5 years ago

all obamacare did was help the insurance companies. they are jacking up their rates getting ready for when all have to buy their garbage coverage. it will be cheaper to pay the fines. folks will still go bankrupt cause they aren't required to pay for all care. it needs to be repealed and written right. the insurance companies aren't the ones supposed to be in charge.

Janice P.
Janice P.5 years ago

WOW! A government website to help lead us to an insurance company that will scr*w us...... Now, that's what I call our government woking for us......

Gladys S.
Gladys Stith5 years ago

Sorry to rain on your parade, however there is already a Medicare site run by the government, which does have good information, like costs of private insurers, what drugs each plan covers, etc., but it is so complicated and time consuming, that I as a Social Worker had difficulty navigating it for my clients. I would not expect this one to ne any simpler. Sorry!

Hugo Godinez
Hugo Godinez5 years ago

thanks for the article