Healthcare.gov Now Helping With Health Insurance

The Department of Health and Human Services just launched a new website, HealthCare.gov, that could prove valuable to those looking for help with both private and public health insurance.

Go to the site and enter basic information such as your age, where you live and whether you have a pre-existing medical condition, and you’ll see what insurance plans are available in your area. You’ll also be able to see if your doctor participates in the available plans and get a summary of benefits. What you won’t get, however, is the cost of each plan – that feature is slated for introduction in October.

The web already has several sites that allow you to search and compare private health insurance: we have a tool like that right here at MoneyTalksNews.com, but only the new government site includes public-sponsored options in their search results.

The government has set aside $5 billion to help subsidize policies for those with pre-existing medical conditions between now and 2014 – the date insurance companies are no longer allowed to refuse coverage. While the money is federal, the programs are being administered by states individually. To qualify for coverage under the state programs, you must prove that you’ve been turned down for a pre-existing condition by showing a denial letter from a private insurance company, and have been uninsured for at least six months.

Some health care advocates are afraid that the $5 billion dollars set aside for state programs won’t be enough and urge those who qualify to apply as soon as possible. Twenty-one states have opted to have HHS run their high-risk pools. In those states, people who apply by July 15th will be eligible for coverage by August 1st.

For states administering their own programs, coverage dates will vary. If you’re one of those who might be helped by getting coverage, visit HealthCare.gov. If you don’t qualify for government-subsidized health insurance and want to compare prices of private policies, try our insurance comparison shopping tool.

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