With More Options, Healthcare.gov Now Open For "Window Shopping"
Was it just a year ago when insurers were fretting over whether to get involved in Ohio's federally-run exchange?
One glace at healthcare.gov's new window shopping function and it's pretty easy to tell the story is different this year. Federal officials announced a new "window shopping" tool late Sunday. You can now click a button and check out your options before enrollment officially begins Nov. 15.
The healthcare.gov site now offers Aetna and Unitedhealthcare - two national insurers who shied away from Ohio last year. That means the competition has picked up.
Heather Thiltgen is vice president of sales and marketing at Ohio-based Medical Mutual:
"We're really, really working to show our differentiation around the size of our network," Thiltgen says.
That emphasis on access to doctors and hospitals will be a key marketing point made to consumers in the coming months.
This year, Ohio's exchange has 14 insurance companies competing for individual enrollees, up from 11 last year. Each one is offering multiple plan options.
Another marketing point you're likely to hear, will be prices. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that premiums for the lowest cost Bronze plan on the Ohio exchange will increase an average of about 7 percent from last year. But some silver plans may see a slight decrease in price.
Of course, you can now log in to healthcare.gov to compare the plans and prices yourself.