HealthCare.gov has integrated private and public insurance plans into their database so consumers can compare and purchase health insurance, dental insurance, Medicaid or chip coverage. The database has more than 1,000 insurance carriers totaling more than 5,000 individual plans and products to shop.
Individuals, families and small businesses can use HealthCare.gov to connect with an insurance provider in their local area. Once you complete and submit the highly detailed application forms, the selection of providers populated on return are only those who can meet your needs while also being an affordable plan.
HealthCare.gov is supposed to be easy to understand and user friendly, a helpful link is provided on the home page to direct you to the section on how to use the system and use your insurance. The site also has a resourceful list of articles on topics such as: how to save money, preventative care, rights as a consumer, and business requirements.
Materials include information on how the new health care reform legislation laws affect new consumers as well as current insurance holders. Small business owners can also find information regarding how the insurance marketplace is changing for them.
Rather than go through the time consuming task, spending hours on the phone or reading through various insurance documents, consumers can now easily see a range of plans they are eligible for without having to do much more other than to compare these specific plans side by side. This is the main attraction for consumers.
To shop insurance products on HealthCare.gov you are required to create an account and complete a long form asking for detailed personal information. From their perspective this enables them to tailor coverage and plan options based on their particular situation, but eHealthInsurance can provide quotes solely using a person’s age and zip code.
With the number of consumers applying for coverage and the long application form, it is apparent as to why their site has been bogged down. There was so much traffic that it was publicly recommended to apply by phone. This turned into an issue because the phone number was equipped with an automated message directing callers back to the website.
A highlight of HealthCare.gov is that they can qualify applicants for a federal subsidy in all 50 states; it is the only site with that capability. Another website called eHealthInsurance has existed for quite some time now; however, they cannot qualify everyone who needs a federal subsidy because they are only contracted with 34 states. This means those individuals qualifying for a federal tax credit in a state not covered through their site will have to apply on HealthCare.gov.
Complaints in online reviews reveal HealthCare.gov is plagued with glitches and security issues. Consumers also claim it takes weeks for information to be processed through and even longer for their insurance plan to take effect.