New Tool to Preview Marketplace Plans and Prices Released

New Tool to Preview Marketplace Plans and Prices Released
Eileen St. Pierre, The Everyday Financial Planner

Like many of you, I’ve wasted a lot of time this month trying to log into www.healthcare.gov so I can see what plans are available for me and my husband on the new health insurance exchanges. I had even set up an account before the Marketplace opened on October 1 but I still could not log in. Many people, even those covered by their employers’ plans, simply want to know what the plans will cost them.

The government is listening to the complaints. A new tool to preview Marketplace plans and prices in your area has been released. The web address is www.healthcare.gov/find-premium-estimates/.

  • After answering a few questions, you will get a list of plans and prices, but you will not be able to find out the details about the plans just yet.
  • This list may not be all the plans available to you – but at least it’s a start.

For a married couple with no kids living in Payne County, Oklahoma, there were 23 plans available for us to choose from:

  • Only 2 insurance companies, Coventry Health Care and BCBS of OK, had plans listed.
  • The cheapest is a Catastrophic Plan from Coventry at $256.42 per month but we are too old (over 30) to qualify.
  • The cheapest Bronze Plan is $287.88 per month from BCBS of OK.
  • The most expensive plan listed is a Gold Plan from BCBS of OK at $672.80 per month.

These monthly premiums do not reflect any advanced tax credits we might receive. The Kaiser Family Foundation has an interactive calculator you can use to estimate any premium subsidies.

If you want to find out more about a particular plan and still cannot log into www.healthcare.gov, you have several options:

  • You can try calling the Marketplace call center at 1-800-318-2596 and see if they can help you.
  • You could also try contacting the insurance company offering the plan for more details.
  • There is now a search tool you can use to find local help in your area.  Go to localhelp.healthcare.gov/ and just type in your zip code.

I’ll do my best to keep you informed on my progress towards signing up for coverage. Visit my Health Care Reform page for updates.

This column was updated on 10/22/13.