Government Website Offers Insurance Finder to Help Consumers

October 13, 2010 – A federal website, www.healthcare.gov, is offering an online tool to help consumers locate information on private health care plans.

In a statement from Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health & Human Services, posted on the site, their “Insurance Finder” includes information from “over 4,000 private health plans offered by over 200 insurers, across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.”

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Ms. Sebelius also writes that “in addition to giving you the base price for these insurance plans, we have new details like the percentage of people who are quoted a rate higher than the basic premium based on the individual’s health status. And you can see what percentage of people were turned down when they tried to buy that plan. This will give you some sense of how different insurance companies change pricing and accept or deny coverage for individuals in less-than-perfect circumstances. Until today, that kind of information had never been available to consumers, and this new transparency is the result of regulations issued under the Affordable Care Act.

“The Insurance Finder is designed to make it easy for you to see many of the things you need to know to make a decision about your insurance coverage. It includes helpful features that let you see specifically what benefits are excluded under the plan you’re considering, including benefits like maternity care and prescription drugs. To break through all the “insurance speak,” you can click on terms to see important cautionary notes and definitions. And you can select up to three plans and select “compare these plans” to see all their details at once.”

The site also includes information on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) “so that people eligible for those programs can see information such as cost-sharing for services. And in the future, we’ll continue to update the private insurance options available, as well as include information for small business owners.”

To access the the Insurance Finder, go to www.healthcare.gov or click here.


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