Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
05:00 AM EST
Today, our Administration is launching HealthCare.gov a new consumer website that provides unprecedented transparency into the health care marketplace. Through HealthCare.gov, individuals will have more control over their health care as informed and empowered consumers.
This “first-of-its-kind” website is simple and easy to use, and provides one-stop shopping access to a wealth of information, including your new consumer rights and benefits under the Affordable Care Act, a timeline of when new programs under the new law will come online between now and 2014 and a new insurance finder that will make it easy to find both private and public health insurance option that works for you.
HealthCare.gov will help take some of the mystery out of shopping for health insurance. For too long, it was confusing to identify your options and compare plans. HealthCare.gov makes comparison shopping easier with a new insurance finder that allows users to answer a few basic questions and receive information about insurance options that could work for them. The site makes a system that thrived on complication and confusion easier to understand. This kind of transparency helps create informed consumers which increases competition, reduces prices and improves quality.
Here are just some of the basics about what you can find when you visit:
- Approximately 500 pages of content
- Data for more than 1,000 insurance carriers and 5,561 open products (2,030 in the individual health insurance market and 3,531 in the small employer health insurance market)
- Information on every Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program in the country
- Information on the Pre-Existing Condition Plan in every state.
- Billions of choices. Answer a few basic questions, and the site’s insurance finder automatically sorts through a huge catalog of public and private coverage options to help you identify the ones that are right for you (with billions of potential personal scenarios supported).
HealthCare.gov will continue to get even better in the months ahead. In October, 2010, price estimates for health insurance plans will be available online, and the site includes easy ways for users to tell us how we can make HealthCare.gov more helpful and easier to use.
We’ll discuss these and other features of the site this afternoon at 1:00 PM EDT, when the HHS team and I will host a briefing for reporters and the public to discuss the new site. You can watch the briefing by visiting HHS.gov/live. We’re excited about demonstrating this important new tool, and enthused that so many organizations and individuals are already praising the new site.
Here’s what some folks have said about HealthCare.gov:
Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine.
“For the first time, no matter where you live, you can go to one place and compare health plans available in your area. The site is nicely designed. It’s easy to find information. It tries to avoid the complicated language that you usually get when you’re shopping for a health plan. Starting this fall, the site will have more information, like price and quality of service comparisons, which will be a big help for consumers.”
"Young adults represent the largest group of uninsured in the country. Because of health care reform, many of us are about to get insurance for the first time. This portal will help us and all Americans get the information we need about the benefits now available to us. Our generation, more than any other, gets our information online and this portal puts it all together in one easy, intuitive site. It is the kind of site young Americans will use and will come back to as they build their careers and their lives. We are excited to help spread the word and to finally see our friends and family get covered."
American Cancer Society
“Healthcare.gov offers consumers something they've never had in the health insurance marketplace - a transparent, one-stop site where they can compare benefits and services, and find the insurance options that work best for them. Reducing confusion about coverage and introducing straightforward information about insurance options has always been a top priority for cancer patients and survivors, and this website will help in a major way. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network will be getting the word out to our volunteers and members about this valuable new resource.”
American Heart Association
“This new website, www.healthcare.gov, from the Department of Health and Human Services is a valuable resource for all Americans as they learn more about the health insurance options available to them and about new insurance protections that could help ensure access to needed care for themselves and their families. For the first time, consumers faced with an array of choices will have a single site to go to help them understand their coverage options. The American Heart Association will continue to work closely with Congress and the Administration to ensure that heart disease and stroke patients receive the best information available to make informed choices about their insurance needs.”
Last year, SEIU members joined in a nationwide effort to win quality, affordable health care for all Americans. HealthCare.gov is an important step forward in ending insurance company abuse - once and for all. This portal will increase both transparency and access for the uninsured and allow people to find quality, affordable health plans in their states. For the first time ever, Americans will be able to compare health plans and make educated decisions about the type of plan that best suits their needs. With today's launching ofHealthCare.gov, we're closer than ever to achieving quality, affordable health care for all Americans.
“Families USA applauds Secretary Sebelius for launching a ground-breaking new web site for consumers shopping for health coverage or seeking information about the Affordable Care Act. “Healthcare.gov will allow consumers to make informed choices about their health care coverage and encourage competition and transparency among health insurers. This first-of-its-kind web site will provide consumers with their health coverage options in a comprehensive and easy-to-navigate way. We congratulate the Department of Health and Human Services for creating this online tool in a timely and expeditious manner during the three short months since the enactment of the Affordable Care Act. Never before have consumers been able to view all their insurance options—including private market plans, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Medicare, and the new Preexisting Condition Insurance Plans—all in one place. Implementing the Affordable Care Act will be no small feat. Americans will welcome a useful, consumer-friendly online resource that is sure to help ease the process as they reap the benefits of this historic legislation.”
National Women’s Law Center
“We’d like to express our appreciation and congratulate the team at HHS on their remarkable efforts to expeditiously implement key pieces of the Affordable Care Act. This week, two more key pieces of the new law come into effect, including the launch of the new web portal. Safe to say that all consumers will benefit from “healthcare.gov” to find helpful information about all available health coverage options. For all people looking for insurance coverage, your new web-based resource that launches this week is a first-of–its-kind one-stop resource that puts users one click away from combined information drawn from many sources about all different insurance options, including but not limited to private insurance, public insurance options for people with low income, as well as the new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans. Never before have consumers had available to them such a resource that combined so many different sources of information about different insurance options. As you no doubt know, women are health care decision makers for their families. The new information resources available at healthcare.gov will help millions of women and their families find health coverage options until the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in 2014. We look forward to the many improvements to come to our health system as a result of the Affordable Care Act.”
“Health Care.gov”, the new HHS website, as called for under the Affordable Care Act going , represents a giant step towards shifting control of health choices in the private insurance market from insurance companies to working families. The AFL-CIO applauds Secretary Sebelius and her staff for such creating a user friendly website where consumers can find useful and timely information on health coverage, choice and quality. Nothing in the private sector is its equal. “HealthCare.gov” is an example of public service at its best in the internet age and it delivers on the Secretary’s promise that HHS will be America’s “Helpdesk” for health care decisions. The unprecedented range and depth of information on insurance plans far outstretches what insurers provide or, in many cases, even disclose on their offerings. In addition the balanced information conveys in plain language giving consumers the information that’s usually gets lost in the fine print. The cost comparison information on plans scheduled to be added in October will make the site an even more consumer friendly tool. While the site will be most immediately useful to those without employment-based insurance – the millions of unemployed working families who have lost their health coverage in the economic meltdown of the past two years will find this enormously helpful – it also conveys information about improvements down the road for workers with group coverage by explaining in plain language the multiple benefits under the Affordable Care Act.
Kathleen Sebelius is Secretary of Health and Human Services