Makeover Coming for HealthCare.gov

Acknowledging at least tacitly the difficulties of some health care consumers, the Obama administration plans major changes to HealthCare.gov this year to make it easier for shoppers to find health insurance plans that include their doctors and to predict their health care costs for the coming year. With substantial premium increases coming in some states in 2016, administration officials are expecting that many consumers already in the Affordable Care Act’s networks will have to switch health plans and find new doctors as they scramble for cheaper alternatives. And millions more Americans could be receiving health insurance through health care marketplaces for the first time. But insurers in many counties are offering such a dizzying array of health insurance plans with so many subtle differences that consumers have struggled to determine which plan is best for them. “Normal consumers just cannot assess the dollar consequences of their decisions,” said Robert M. Krughoff, the president of the Center for the Study of Services, also known as Consumers’ Checkbook. “Is a $200 deductible with a $10,000 out-of-pocket limit better for my family than a $2,000 deductible and a $4,000 out-of-pocket limit?” With the Affordable Care Act’s third open enrollment season starting Nov. 1, new features of HealthCare.gov will allow consumers to type in the names of their doctors, prescription drugs and preferred hospitals, and see which plans cover them, administration officials said. The effort to ease the consumer experience is driven by the administration’s push to reach the 10.5 million people who are still uninsured.

Source/more: New York Times

David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.

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