The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has created an internet web portal called "HealthCare.gov" through which individuals and small businesses can access information about insurance coverage options available in their state. The website has a locator feature that asks the user to select a state and answer questions such as age, health, and family status. The locator then provides information about public and private coverage options that may be available, including information about high risk pools and free or low-cost community services.
In addition to helping consumers find coverage options, the website has information about prevention and staying healthy, understanding the new health care reform law, and a link to an HHS web tool called "Hospital Compare" that is intended to help users compare the quality of care that hospitals provide. Other resources include articles, webchat Q&A sessions, and videos on pertinent health care topics.
The website's initial functions include helping people with pre-existing conditions get information about a new, temporary, national high-risk insurance program. Its role will expand over time to offer information on health reform topics, Medicaid, and other matters. Eventually, the site will provide resources on health plan eligibility, premiums, benefits, and cost-sharing. Federal health reform announcements will also be posted on this site. HHS anticipates additional enhancements to the content over time.
HealthCare.gov provides information for employer plan sponsors as well, including the Implementation Center, where sponsors can find links to regulations and guidance related to the new health reform law. Other governmental sites of interest to employers on health reform topics include the White House, IRS, and DOL health reform sites.
As new information is issued on health reform, Conner Strong will issue alerts and updates. Should you have any questions, please contact your Conner Strong representative toll-free at 1-877-861-3220.