Feds Medical Insurance Website Goes Live Next Month

06.23.10 |

The federal government's first step toward creating more competition for healthcare providers gets underway July 1st. That's the day that a shopping website for medical insurance goes live. The site will start out by listing both private and public insurers in the consumer's area, along with a list of healthcare plans and links to more information. In October, the website will also list side-by-side cost comparisons and detailed information about benefits. Until 2014, however, insurers are still allowed to refuse coverage to applicants and can charge more for sicker policy holders.

 The massive healthcare reform law that passed earlier this year mandates such a website. But consumer groups and health insurers are already squabbling over what it should say. Consumer advocates want to see it become the Priceline.com of medical coverage. Insurers insist there's such a thing as too much information. An Aetna spokesman told "Kaiser Health News" that the website could "lead to consumer confusion and higher costs."

 The web address is www.HealthCare.gov.