Yesterday, (Oct. 1) more than one million Americans attempted to jump in to the federal health insurance exchange program. The overwhelming interest caught many state and federal agencies by surprise as websites crashed from the increased demand.
"Some state exchanges such as California and Oregon have had successful launched exchanges while the Federal exchange at Healthcare.gov experienced some technical difficulties this morning as did some state exchanges such as Connecticut’s AccessHealthCT and the Maryland Health Connection, said Kev Coleman, head of data and research at HealthPocket on his blog.
Coleman shared some observations and tips after the debut of the health exchange marketplace.
1. There is considerable public interest in the new health insurance marketplace. According to the White House, more than one million people had attempted to use the federal health insurance exchange before 7:00 a.m. ET.
2. Prices vary widely not only from state to state but even within a state. For example, a 35 year-old male nonsmoker from Massachusetts shopping for an entry-level Bronze Plan had options ranging from $192.66 a month to $375.83. Nearby Connecticut, in comparison, had premiums start higher for this applicant profile but cap at a lower ceiling with a premium range of $241.85 to $299.93.
3. Technical problems and feature outages were experienced both in the federal exchange as well as several state exchanges. By 3:00 p.m. ET Tuesday afternoon, the federal exchange and various state exchanges (such as Idaho, Maryland, and Minnesota) were not successfully displaying health plan comparisons.
4. Anonymous shopping was the exception rather than the norm. The federal exchange serving 36 states had an account creation process and application form required before insurance plans could be compared. When customer service was called, the representative said that he believed the the application process needed to be completed step-by-step prior to comparing health insurance plans.
5. Phone support fared better than online functionality at the federal health insurance exchange. While the online functionality of the federal health insurance exchange experienced repeated technical difficulties during the day, the toll-free customer support number was operational. An afternoon call to the number resulted in access to a live representative after five minutes on hold.
HealthPoint provides individual, business and medicare comparison tools to health care options based on your personal score. The HealthPocket Personal Score is a free tool that filters all the variables in looking for the best health care option, such as clinical quality measures for treatments and preventative care, premiums and cost-sharing, such as deductibles, co-pays, and customer satisfaction to come up with a personal score for your best option. "Our Personal Score is a ranking from 1 to 10. The higher the score, the better the plan. By comparing Personal Scores, people often learn that plans with similar premiums can have very different quality as well as the most expensive plan is not necessarily the best plan," says the company website. For more link here: www.healthpocket.com/