Are you shopping around for health insurance for your small company? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just unveiled a computerized search engine for health insurance policies, so you can search plans in much the same way the Medicare Part D program enables elderly folks to search prescription drug plans (or the way many people can search for the deals on flights and hotels.)
The site gives small business and individuals access to:
- Insurance product choices for a given ZIP code, sorted by out-of-pocket limits, average cost per enrollee, monthly premiums, etc.
- A summary of cost and coverage for small group products that shows the available deductibles, range of copay options, included and excluded benefits, and benefits available for purchase at additional cost.
- A filter that lets you selection products based on whether the plans are health savings account eligible, have prescription drug, mental health, or maternity coverage, or allow for domestic partner or same sex coverage.
Searching for zip codes in Maryland/Suburban Washington, D.C., premiums (for a single individual policy, male, non-smoker) ranged from $90 a month for Aetna’s PPO Value policy (with a $10,000 deductible and a $12,500 out of pocket annual limit) to $825 a month for CareFirst Blue Choice’s 10/20 Plan, which has a zero dollar annual deductible and a $2,000 in-network out of pocket annual limit.
Searching the same zip code for a small business with 10 employees, we found premiums ranged from $123 per member per month (PMPM) for Coventry’s POS $2,000 Deductible Plan, which has a $4,000 out of pocket maximum; to $959 PMPM for Coventry’s pricey $250-deductible plan with a $2,500 out of pocket limit, according to the web site.
Starting in 2014, the health reform law will limit the total amount that people have to pay out-of-pocket when they’re insured by an essential-benefits policy. That cap is inflation-gauged to 2010 expenditures of $5,950 for single coverage and $11,900 for family coverage.
More than 530 insurers provided information for more than 2,700 coverage plans across all states and the District of Columbia, HHS says in a press release.