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HHS Launches Tools to Help Consumers Navigate Health Insurance Marketplace

Agency says it’s ‘on target’ for October 1 enrollment (June 24)

The Obama administration has begun efforts to educate consumers about the online Health Insurance Marketplace by launching a revamped HealthCare.gov Web site and a toll-free, 24-hour call center. The new tools are aimed at helping consumers prepare for open enrollment and ultimately to sign up for private health insurance.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), HealthCare.gov is now the official destination for the Health Insurance Marketplace. The Web site will add features over the summer so that by October, consumers will be able to create an account, complete an online application, and shop for qualified health plans. For Spanish-speaking consumers, CuidadoDeSalud.gov will also be updated to match HealthCare.gov’s new consumer focus.

The Web site may be accessed from desktops, smart-phones, and other mobile devices. In addition, the site is available via an application interface at www.healthcare.gov/developers.

Between now and the start of open enrollment, the Marketplace call center will provide educational information and, beginning October 1, 2013, will help consumers complete applications and select plans. In addition to English and Spanish, the call center provides assistance in more than 150 languages through an interpretation and translation service.

The HHS says it’s on target for open enrollment in the Marketplace, which begins October 1, 2013. Coverage will begin January 1, 2014.

Source: HHS; June 24, 2013.

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