HealthCare.com Improves its Site in Time for Open Enrollment
October 21, 2015
HealthCare.com recently announced that an updated version of its website had been released in anticipation of the beginning of the next open enrollment period on November 1. The new site will allow users to shop for plans anonymously and accurately calculate their net costs for a given plan.
New York City-based HealthCare.com is a privately-held business that allows users to shop for healthcare plans, but should not be confused with the federal government site, Healthcare.gov. The company has often compared itself to Kayak, stating that it serves as a search engine for healthcare insurance plans similar to the way Kayak helps users shop for travel services.
According to the Washington Post, the company is supported by investors and advertising dollars from a provider directory. Businesses selling insurance plans also pay for the leads that searches to the site generate.
One of the philosophies of the site is that it wants customers to be aware of the real costs of their plans. Many people buy a plan with the cheapest monthly premium without considering what deductibles and other expenses will be. It’s usually better to pay a little more now than have to pay a lot more later. The site has several articles that deal with different scenarios, like a recent divorce, finding a good plan for millennials, or getting healthcare coverage while relocating.
With the revamped site, users will be able to shop anonymously, free of charge. HealthCare.com claims to provide access to 120,000 plans through 200 carriers, including federal and state exchange plans, as well as private plans. The plan engine asks detailed set of questions including things like location, date of birth, the people being covered, and the expected frequency of doctor visits. With this information, the site’s search engine can make recommendations and facilitate contact with a broker or agent.
When the Washington Post reported on HealthCare.com a year ago, it found some problems with the accuracy of some of the results obtained from searches. Hopefully those issues have been resolved with this latest release. If so, this could be a valuable tool for customers looking for a healthcare plan during the upcoming open enrollment period. It also provides a valuable alternative to the federal government website, which has been known in the past for having problems and being less than user friendly.
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere