Some of the sweeping changes that are part of the groundbreaking Healthcare Reform Law actually go into effect this summer. To help consumers better understand how these changes effect them, the government has announced the creation of a new consumer information website on health insurance options and access to healthcare. The site, healthcare.gov, is run be the Department of Health and Human Services.
The launch of the site is in and of itself a tangible effect of healthcare reform, its creation was called for in the Law.
A Site for Sore Eyes (and any other medical condition)One of the first and most popular uses of the site is expected to be to help people find access to the new Preexisting Condition Health Insurance pools. That program was just created as of July 1st, to help people who had been denied coverage because of medical conditions, get insured between now and 2014, when the Health Insurance Exchanges called for in the Law come into full effect.
The site is a work in progress and will grow and expand as more and more provisions of the law come into effect. Users of the site can search by state for insurance options, but unlike other valuable websites such as healthinsurancefinders.com, they will not be able to receive actual quotes, or purchase health insurance on the site. Consumers interested in obtaining healthcare insurance information, and also receiving a free quote, are still encouraged to use such websites.
Meanwhile at healthcare.gov consumers will also be able to:
- Find information about the implementation of the health reform law
- Discover quality rankings for healthcare providers
- Find valuable information on preventive and wellness services
- Have the opportunity to submit feedback about various aspect so of the site
- In the near future the information on the site will be available in Spanish. Other future plans include posting of prices of insurance rates of referred providers in a given Zip Code, and regular content updates on disease prevention and improving access to healthcare nationwide.
As far as a government website goes, the site is pretty functional and easy to navigate. Given the nature of the subject matter, and the way wheels usually turn in Washington, that it exists and functions at all is nothing short of miraculous. Still a lot of information is missing and will not be available until October.
Consumers who are interested in finding out information today about their best healthcare and health insurance options can comparison shop right now at websites such as medicalrecords.com