At least we can window shop for health insurance
If you live in one of the 36 states that are signing people up for health insurance on Healthcare.gov, you've probably been dealing with a lot of technical glitches when trying to sign up or at least find out what your options will be.
I don't have any news about the glitches, but the federal insurance exchange did a very smart thing and created a page where you can window shop the plans available in your state, no login or personal information required.
All you need to tell the site is:
- If you're looking for coverage for your family or your business.
- Want information on health or dental insurance.
- The state and county where you live.
- How many people you'll be signing up.
- Whether you're under 49 or over 50 and the general ages of everyone else you'll be paying for.
That's it. I answered those simple questions and was taken to a page outlining the 34 plans for which I qualify.
Now, this is window shopping in the true sense of the word. You can't get your hands on the plans. You'll only see:
- The name of the insurer
- Type of plan (EPO, HMO, etc.)
- Coverage level (catastrophic, bronze, silver, platinum)
- And monthly premium.
There's nothing here about co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. And this page doesn't factor in if you qualify for subsidies or what the subsidized cost will be.
But this page does answer the big question: About how much will my health insurance cost next year?
The platinum plans offered to me in New Jersey cost $100 less per month than what I'm used to paying, and I'm looking squarely at bronze and silver plans.
It also allows those who are thinking about jumping ship and going out on their own, or who are locked in jobs they hate just because of the insurance offered, an idea of what it'll cost to cover themselves.
I'm disappointed and frustrated that I haven't been able to sign up for insurance coverage yet. I can only get just past the login page.
But this at least gives me an idea of what I'll be looking at once those glitches are rolled smooth.