It is with an interesting mix of emotions that I jumped online to Healthcare.gov to check out the much anticipated rates for 2015. Here are my initial observations:
- They have done a great job with the client interface – at least the shopping element. It is a user-friendly design and looks great. They definitely achieved the goal of integrating the subsidy element into the illustration. I am sure there will be some confusion – particularly when it comes to the skinny network plans. The provider networks are posted and the information can be found. But, I predict lots of people will find out about network limitations after they have made their election decision.
- United Healthcare is in the mix now with 10 plan designs (Blue Cross has 33, LAHC has 8 and Vantage has 4). Off Exchange, Coventry/Aetna and Humana have a portfolio of plans with a few different twists. If you are not eligible for subsidies, those are definitely work considering.
- Prices are generally higher. But, it is easy to evaluate options.
Hopefully we will soon find that the application process has been similarly streamlined and it will be easier for individuals and their advisers to ultimately complete these transactions and move on with their lives.
There should be plenty of help available. Commissions for licensed professionals are built into every product that is sold – whether on the Exchange or off. Don’t ever hesitate to reach out for help.