Sebelius issues tips for holiday health insurance shopping

Kathleen Sebelius health insurance
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Sebelius attempts to mitigate consumer frustration by drawing attention to other options

Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, has been attempting to provide some levity to offset the frustration consumers have been experiencing with the federal government’s health insurance exchange network. As the holiday season gains momentum, Sebelius notes that shopping for insurance coverage online could mitigate some of the stresses associated with the season. The initiative is meant to highlight alternatives to purchasing insurance coverage through the federal exchange that do not involve using the online portable, HealthCare.gov.

Consumers continue to experience turbulence with federal exchange website

Kathleen Sebelius health insuranceAccording to Sebelius, purchasing health insurance policies through the federal exchange network can help people “avoid the lines” associated with purchasing coverage through traditional avenues. Unfortunately, HealthCare.gov, which has been billed as the best place to find affordable coverage for consumers throughout the U.S., has been suffering from a variety of technical issues that have crippled people’s access to the federal exchange network. Sebelius notes, however, that the Internet is not the only place to receive coverage through the federal exchange.

Call center may be reliable alternative to website

According to Sebelius, consumers can call a toll-free number and speak to actual people that will help them enroll for coverage. This approach allows consumers to avoid the automated processes of the federal exchange network that have caused a significant level of frustration for many. Sebelius notes that the call center for the federal exchange is open 24/7 providing consumers with reliable access to the network itself. Thus far, the call center has experienced modest traffic and has proven to be a reliable alternative to the HealthCare.gov site.

Consumers have plenty of time to purchase coverage

Apart from offering holiday shopping tips for insurance coverage, Sebelius has also taken time to inform consumers that there is no rush when it comes to purchasing coverage. While federal law requires all U.S. citizens to have active health insurance policies on January 1, 2014, consumers without coverage will not suffer any penalties until several months later.

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