This is a big feat in indeed to meet the short deadlines of aggregating all the information with various insurance carriers to one portal site to hopefully make the process of shopping for insurance easier.  Initially pricing will not be included and will not come on line until October according to this article.  image

Even if working part way, it could be a help to consumers.  Not having seen anything yet on the site, I would say a line up of web sites do that compare products that you buy on the web in a chart/box format would help.  Right now with consumers wanting information quickly and accurately (self included) and in view of everything else happening in healthcare, a long intense search and study is the last thing we want.  

Rules on EHR Certification Should Take Back Seat to Certifying Insurance Algorithms At Present – We Need This First

As noted here, the insurers “proprietary algorithms” are making the process a little confusing and difficult to include, certainly says something for getting insurer algorithms certified so again we are right back to square one.

Health Care Insurers Suggest Algorithms and Business Intelligence solutions to provide health insurance solution

This will be interesting too as even AARP has had some of their policies suspended “due to their calculating algorithms”. 

Algorithms, Formulas and Investigations leads to AARP suspending sales of some health plans

The algorithms of healthcare as they continue to develop, fragmented and with the overall focus on risk management business models are not the answer to our current dilemma and as we continue to fuel the fire, as we have seen in the last few years it continues to elevate.  Perhaps if we could come together on algorithms with the same goal someday, we might just see some progress.

The rest of healthcare is still catching up with building algorithms to play ball with the best all star studded team that money can buy, the insurers.  At any rate, the effort of trying to bring all of this together is a big task and a lot of work, it’s just hard when trying to work with proprietary algorithms that can change with the direction of the wind. 

So where will consumers end up going, I might guess to a site that has prices listed as we are like everyone else out there, we need to know our bottom line especially in tough economic times and the article did state that “estimates” would be listed in October, but those can change at any time as we all know.  BD

The new Web portal goes live July 1 and is designed to give consumers a place to research and compare health insurance plans.

Since it will be the most tangible link to the health reform law for many Americans, health policy experts and administration officials say it’s crucial that the site is well-designed, easy to navigate and free of the jargon that makes the field of health insurance so unintelligible to the public.

When launches next Thursday, it will have information about insurance plans that users can sort based on their own situation and their eligibility for public insurance programs, like Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the new high-risk pools for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

The new portal will not have pricing information, which is often based on insurers’ proprietary algorithms that factor in numerous health-related characteristics of the potential subscriber. HHS is aiming to include price estimates in a second launch of the site on Oct. 1.

Consumer advocates, though, want to make sure the portal is as comprehensive as possible. Families USA suggested in its comments that the portal be an “in-depth compendium of plan information” available in multiple languages.

“We spent a huge amount of effort creating a design that doesn’t feel like a big, complicated mess,” said Park. “It’s a user-friendly site through a very complicated world. From a design standpoint, it’s a complex set of content. But for the user, it should appear simple.”

HHS gears up for Web portal's launch - Sarah Kliff -


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