Consumers Examine Government’s New Health Care Website, Health Insurers Critical
News outlets continue to report on the federal government's new health care website, healthcare.gov, launched Thursday.
CBS News: "The most interesting part of the site may be the search tool. It allows people to click on their state, then choose responses to questions about their family and medical status. A program processes the data and then spits out the best insurance options available" (Hunter, 7/1).
Christian Science Monitor: "Click through to find more information, though, and you may find it lacking. Price information is not yet posted. The website says that such data are coming in October, when a more detailed version of the website is supposed to debut. Large insurance companies have complained about providing the government with such detailed price information, however, so stay tuned. You can't enroll in insurance plans directly from the site. Instead, it provides phone numbers and other contact information so you can reach insurers directly. Another section of the website lists news about the implementation of the new health reform law, including a time line of when various provisions take effect" (Grier, 7/1).
Chicago Tribune: "Last month, America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry lobbying arm, sent a letter to Health and Human Services voicing concerns about the insurance plan information that may be listed on the upcoming feature. The agency, for example, asked insurance companies for data about how many claims its health plans deny. 'Providing information about claims denials without providing proper context does not begin to tell the whole story,' said Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for the group, who said claims are often denied because a provider sent a duplicate claim or submitted a claim to the wrong health plan" (Martinez, 7/1).
The Hill: "Health insurers are crying foul over the political messaging in the Obama administration's new healthcare.gov portal - particularly an image of a suitcase full of money labeled with the words 'Stopping Overpayments to Big Insurance Companies.' The image refers to the healthcare reform law's billions of dollars in cuts to private Medicare Advantage plans." AHIP's Zierkelbach calls says the site "subjects [users] to campaign-style propaganda" (Pecquet, 7/1).
Related, earlier KHN story: What You Need To Know About The Government's New Health Insurance Website (Galewitz, 7/1).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.