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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ready, Set, Go to HealthCare.gov

The web portal Is up and running!

Today, July 1, you can visit HealthCare.gov for the first time ever and view all the health coverage options that are available to you! Never before have consumers been able to view their coverage options in one place, until today. Thanks to health reform, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has launched a new web site to provide consumers with their health coverage options in a comprehensive and easy-to-navigate way.

HealthCare.gov will serve as a resource to consumers by providing information about health insurance coverage options available in their state, including private insurance, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicare, existing high-risk pools, the new high-risk pools for individuals with pre-existing conditions, and coverage for small businesses.

Here are some of the highlights of the web portal:

• Consumers can search for coverage options that are the best for their situation by entering their zip code, their age, and information about the kind of coverage they need.

• For the first time, even small businesses can view health coverage options available to them in one place.

• Consumers can submit comments and provide feedback on what they do or don’t like about the web portal (and we encourage Stand Up readers to do just that! Look for the yellow comment boxes on the web portal, and share your feedback with HHS).

• The portal provides additional information about health reform in general, the new pre-existing condition insurance pools (also launching today), prevention and wellness resources, and links to resources to compare hospitals based on quality rankings.

• The portal is an easy place to find links to federal regulations and comments.

• For people in the 20 states that are launching their own HHS-sponsored high-risk pool, it’s the go-to resource for information on how to get health care coverage.

This is the first of two launch phases of the web site. In October, additional information will be added to provide more detailed pricing and benefit information for the plans and to allow consumers to sort plan results by these and other factors. So stay tuned for more and check out HealthCare.gov.

In a sense, the web portal is the new hub for all health reform and health coverage information, so bookmark it today!