The new tool allows small business owners to compare the benefits and costs of health plans and choose those that are best for their employees. For the first time ever, it will allow small businesses to research locally available products in an unbiased manner and foster a more transparent and competitive marketplace.
In addition to the market being difficult to analyze, small businesses do not fare as well large employers when negotiating health care prices, on average small businesses spend 18 percent more for the same health insurance coverage.
The tool is located on www.HealthCare.gov, which was created under requirements contained in the Affordable Care Act, the new health care law of 2010. The website is the first of its kind to bring information and links to health insurance plans to one place, and to make it easy for consumers to learn about and compare their insurance options. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services worked to define and collect detailed benefits and premium rating information from insurers across the country to develop the site.
The new information added gives small business owners access to the following:
•Insurance product choices for a given ZIP code, sorted by out-of-pocket limits, average cost per enrollee, or other factors.
•A summary of cost and coverage for small group products that shows the available deductibles, range of co-pay options, included and excluded benefits, and benefits available for purchase at additional cost.
•The ability to filter product selection based on whether the plans are Health Savings Account eligible, have prescription drug, mental health, or maternity coverage, or allow for domestic partner or same sex coverage.
More than 530 insurers have provided information for more than 2,700 coverage plans across all states and the District of Columbia.
To access the small business Insurance Finder, go to the home page of www.HealthCare.gov and click on the blue tab at the top of the page.
For more information, visit www.HealthCare.gov, or access the HHS Facebook page or Twitter account. To download a www.HealthCare.gov Insurance Finder widget visit www.HealthCare.gov/stay_connected.html.