HealthCare.gov is back and may be better than before
HealthCare.gov, the federal health insurance exchange gateway, has gone live once again. Though the website is not officially selling policies until November 15, the Department of Health and Human Services is eager to show off the new site and highlight that changes that have been made to it. The federal agency is keen to avoid the technical missteps that were made during the last open enrollment period, which prevented many thousands of people from actually acquiring health insurance coverage through exchanges.
HHS claims that people may be able to save money on insurance coverage by shopping around
The agency is working to encourage consumers to re-enroll through the exchange, suggesting that they may be able to save money on the coverage they purchase through it. The new site has been equipped with “window shopping functionality,” which will allow consumers to find the policies they are interested in before the open enrollment period officially begins. This could ease the shopping process, as consumers will be able to find coverage early and purchase this coverage more quickly than they had in the past.
Manually enrolling in federal exchange may be the best option
Earlier this year, federal officials had noted that an auto-enrollment process would be a benefit for those that had managed to purchase insurance coverage through the federal exchange. Now, however, the Department of Health and Human Services is suggesting that people re-enroll manually. Not only is the auto-enrollment process expected to only work for a limited number of people, but the agency believes that enrolling for coverage manually will help people find less expensive insurance policies that are more suitable to their medical needs.
Some people may be eligible for federal insurance subsidies
As with the last open enrollment period, those that fall below the federal poverty level may qualify for subsidized insurance coverage. These people will have to enroll through the federal exchange and provide tax information that will be use to determine their eligibility. In some cases, federal subsidies can cover the majority of a health insurance policy’s cost, making insurance coverage much less of a financial burden.