New York, NY, October 19, 2015 . . . HealthCare.com, the nation’s leading health insurance search engine and comparison tool, announced today the launch of its new website, which features an intuitive plan recommendation search engine that walks consumers through their personal healthcare needs and suggests the plans that may be best suited for them. The newly re-launched site is live today at www.HealthCare.com and available in time for the start of open enrollment on November 1.
Virtually every American is required to have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), and up to 19 million have been purchasing insurance themselves through government-sponsored insurance exchanges, direct from carriers, or private sites like HealthCare.com. Unfortunately, many Americans choose plans with the lowest premiums and highest deductibles, resulting in “unaffordably cheap” insurance. A recent study found that nearly half of all Americans can’t afford the $5,000 family deductible found in many lower-premium Bronze plans.
“Watching this trend develop during previous open enrollment cycles, we felt that too many consumers were buying their health insurance like they buy their auto coverage,” said HealthCare.com CEO Jeff Smedsrud.” They know they must have it, but think they’ll never actually use it, so they choose the cheapest plan, only to struggle later on with deductibles and out-of-pockets they can’t afford. So we completely re-designed the HealthCare.com site top to bottom and, at its core, incorporated a question-and-answer-based recommendation engine. The engine walks consumers through their typical healthcare consumption, including things like doctor visits and prescriptions, and then suggests the plans that align consumers’ total costs to their healthcare budget.”
Features of the HealthCare.com Version 2.0 website include:
- Free and anonymous insurance shopping. There is no charge for consumers to use the HealthCare.com site. Consumers shop and compare plans in complete anonymity, no names required.
- Broad selection of health insurance plans. The site provides access to virtually all the state-based exchange plans, federal exchange plans, and many private, off-exchange plans – over 200 carriers and more than120,000 plans in all.
- An integrated calculator to determine the net cost of plans eligible for government insurance subsidies.
- A new, unbiased plan recommendation engine. The engine begins by asking basic questions like ZIP code, who needs to be covered, dates of birth, gender(s), whether there are any smokers, and household income. At that point, consumers can go directly to the available plans. Or they can answer additional questions about their typical number of doctor visits, prescription medicines, emergency room visits, hospitalizations, lab and imaging work, planned surgeries, maternity needs and allergies. These questions help to further round out the picture of a consumer’s typical healthcare consumption, so the recommendation engine can further fine-tune its search. At any time, a consumer can see more plans beyond those recommended by the engine.
- Plan Filters. Consumers can refine their search according to the monthly premium costs, annual deductibles or annual out-of-pocket costs that best fit their budgets.
- Numerous ways to get insured. At the conclusion of their shopping, HealthCare.com will connect consumers to places where they can purchase their plans. They can buy online, speak with a licensed agent on the phone, or meet with an agent in person.
- Additional healthcare and health insurance information. The HealthCare.com site features articles on Obamacare, health insurance, dental insurance, short-term health insurance and more. The site also has a blog with timely articles on what’s happening in healthcare.
“We are making daily changes and improvements to our website based on the evolving needs of our customers. We expect steady growth in the number of consumers that use HealthCare.com to help them find the best health plan. In the last 12 months, more than 500,000 consumers have used our services, and we expect that to surge significantly during the open enrollment period,” said Smedsrud.
Privately-owned HealthCare.com is the nation’s leading search engine and comparison tool for shopping of health insurance coverage. The unbiased website features virtually all state-based exchange plans, federal exchange plans and many private, off-exchange plans. Using interactive tools and innovative technology, HealthCare.com continues to grow its technology, interfaces and services to help consumers compare health insurance costs and subsidies for free, and enable them to purchase their insurance online, over the phone with a licensed advisor, or in person with a local agent. Founded in 2006 as a healthcare services company, HealthCare.com’s goal is to help consumers easily research information and compare health insurance quotes from insurance carriers using interactive tools and innovation. Using trusted recommendations and a comparison shopping experience to simplify decision-making, consumers can find the right health insurance plan that fits their lifestyles. The site also offers online calculators and shopping tools to advance consumer healthcare literacy. With millions of visitors each year, HealthCare.com partners and integrates with industry-leading health insurance companies to help consumers enroll into plans. HealthCare.com is based in New York and has offices in Miami and Minneapolis . For more information, visit www.HealthCare.com.