Unprecedented Tool for Small Businesses to Find and Compare Health Insurance Plans

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - HealthA greatly expanded website to give small business owners an unprecedented detailed review of their health insurance plan choices was announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Just in time for 2012, this new tool allows small business owners to compare the benefits and costs of health plans and choose those that are best for their employees. For the first time ever, it will allow small businesses t research locally available products in an unbiased manner and foster a more transparent and competitive marketplace.
The tool is located on www.HealthCare.gov, which was created under requirements contained in the Affordable Care Act, the new health care law of 2010. The website is the first of its kind to bring information and links to health insurance plans to one place, and to make it easy for consumers to learn about and compare their insurance options. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services worked to define and collect detailed benefits and premium rating information from insurers across the country to develop the site. The new information added gives small business owners access to the following:

  • Insurance product choices for a given ZIP code, sorted by out-of-pocket limits, average cost per enrollee, or other factors.
  • A summary of cost and coverage for small group products that shows the available deductibles, range of co-pay options, included and excluded benefits, and benefits available for purchase at additional cost.
  • The ability to filter product selection based on whether the plans are Health Savings Account eligible, have prescription drug, mental health, or maternity coverage, or allow for domestic partner or same sex coverage.

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