New Government Sponsored Website Helps Medicare Beneficiaries

A recently unveiled new government website geared at translating the basics of health care reform for millions of confused Americans, has special interest for Medicare beneficiaries. What brings is answers to many of the questions that seniors, Medicare beneficiaries, the uninsured and other people have been asking since health care reform became a reality.

This new website provides Medicare beneficiaries and other consumers with a clearer understanding of their health insurance coverage options, notes Alan Weinstock, an insurance broker at In fact, one of the primary benefits is a very usable tool that can help people make important decisions for them and their families.

Along with helping people find the best health insurance, the website also provides details about the Affordable Care Act, a timeline showing when provisions take effect, information about how small businesses can obtain tax credits and how employers can apply for subsidies to help insure early retirees. Offers Over 500 Pages of Health Information

Several health care advocates have said that this site is the only independent source they know of that offers such a vast amount of health insurance information.

Its over 500 pages can generate billions of result combinations that provide information tailored to each individual user’s particular situation. So whether you’re uninsured with a pre-existing condition or 65 or older and looking for Medicare supplement insurance, you can find the right insurance option for your needs.

Another source for finding the right Medicare supplement insurance, also known as Medigap insurance, is , where seniors have an opportunity to compare rates, plans and benefits from several prominent insurance companies.

Future of

The website, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is in response to a requirement established by Congress. However, insurance companies have said the site goes beyond what the law envisioned. They complain that it makes finding information more difficult for consumers, especially given that it is intended only as a temporary fix.

In fact, according to the mandates of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, state-based insurance purchasing exchanges are to be created in 2014 which will provide general information including what plans are available to consumers. Consumers will then simply be linked to each insurance company’s website for further information.

As it now stands, the description of private health insurance plans on includes a summary of services, a list of participating providers and any drugs covered plus links to the insurer’s website. That will change this October, when HHS upgrades the site to include additional information that will allow consumers to compare policies and benefits of private plans. It may also include information about a company’s coverage denial and cancellation rates, and how often members file appeals. And that is what has many of the private insurance companies up in arms.

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