Today is an important day for those Nebraskans looking for health care coverage. Today was the launch of a web portal created by the federal Department of Health and Human Services which will help people find health care coverage options in their local areas. The web portal is one of the consumer benefits required by the new health reform law, the Affordable Care Act. The goal was to simplify and make more accessible, information about health care coverage for consumers.
People can log onto the site, www.healthcare.gov, and choose their state. They are next prompted to answer a few questions to make the information more specific to each person’s circumstance. Then the site provides several options for potential coverage. The options can range from new provisions under the health reform act like the ability to keep children on family coverage until age 26, to a list of private health insurance plans offered in your area, or even public health insurance options like Medicaid. There are links from the list of options for more information, applications, etc.
The website is easy and accessible (I’ve tried it). But they are still working out some kinks and are eager to get user feedback. The banner on the top notes how people can provide feedback to the Department of Health and Human Services which runs the site.
The site will also keep evolving so that more detailed information is included. This is a great first step in making sense of the options out there for people seeking coverage and putting information in the hands of the consumer so they have more control over their choices. Try it!