How anyone can make HealthCare.gov even better – yes, you!

HealthCare.gov, the new consumer-oriented portal for health insurance coverage information, went live yesterday. But it’s just getting started.

Our complex health care system can be confusing and frustrating – from figuring out what’s the best health insurance to understanding your rights as a consumer under the new Affordable Care Act.  That’s why as helpful the content and tools on HealthCare.gov may be today, it’s critical to understand where people still have questions and what other features they would find useful.  So I want to tell you about two important ways you can help make this important resource better for everyone.

First is a live, online Q & A event next week with WebMD and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  Starting on Tuesday, you’ll be able to send in questions and vote on what others have submitted.  Then on Wednesday at Noon ET, the Secretary will answer the most popular questions and even more will be answered in blog posts afterwards.  Events like this attract a lot of questions and use public voting to surface the most common concerns – which offers helpful guidance to improve how health care information is communicated, including through the content of HealthCare.gov.

You can find the other way through a feature on HealthCare.gov, itself.  Browsing through the site, you’ll see little yellow boxes.  Using these, you can tell the team at HHS whether a page is helpful or not and how it could improve.  So, in a sense, the content on HealthCare.gov moving forward will be “co-written” through the feedback of everyday Americans who use the site.

Whether you’re looking for new insurance, searching for information about your new rights as a patient, or wondering what the new law is doing to strengthen Medicare, there’s something in the website for you – and you probably can help make it even better.  This site isn’t intended only for policy wonks or health care experts.  It was created so that regular Americans can understand all of their options and benefits – and make informed decisions about health care coverage based on this information.

Using the new site, you can:

  • Find all of you coverage options in one place, including the private insurance plans that are available for someone with your health needs in your zip code and the public programs for which you may be eligible.
  • Explore an interactive timeline of the Affordable Care Act to see what benefits are becoming available and when you or your family will be able to access them.
  • Learn about new consumer protections, like the Patient’s Bill of Rights and the efforts to fight Medicare fraud.

This video gives a good overview:

So check out HealthCare.gov today to get the health care information you need and leave your ideas for making the site even better in the future.  And don’t forget to head over to WebMD next week to ask your questions and watch Secretary Sebelius answer them on Wednesday.
 

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