The usefulness, genius, and limitations of HealthSherpa's website for Obamacare

There’s so much I love about this story.
Three 20-year-old computer programmers basically took a long weekend to do what (and a few hundred million dollars) can’t do: Show consumers plans and prices on health insurance plans that are available on the government marketplace for 2014. The result is a nice little site called The Health Sherpa.
There’s a lot of usefulness here, but it doesn’t solve every issue.
The Good
Consumers need a way to see prices before going through all of the hassle and headache of When you make any other purchase, you shop before signing up or buying. The government site does not allow you to do that. In fact, we recently had a client tell us that she was informed it would take several weeks to process her request for information on subsidy eligibility (run through, and that she’d be unable to view plans and pricing until then.
The Health Sherpa allows you to look at the plans that are available on the government marketplace in your state and to see prices for those plans. It’s a great first step and one you should absolutely take advantage of before attempting to enroll.
What’s Missing
The biggest thing missing here is any details about the plans themselves. So you can see a particular company’s “Silver 2” plan costs $x, but you don’t know any details on the coverage.
But that’s OK, because you have us. We’ll be able to get you more detailed information about any plans you’re interested in, and then we can help you enroll.
The Bottom Line
We think The Health Sherpa is a really helpful tool to help you get an idea of what kind of individual health insurance options you’ll have under Obamacare in 2014, and to get a good ballpark idea of what you can expect to pay. That knowledge will help you make decisions and plan ahead before you start to enroll. We believe (obviously) that it would be worth a few minutes to talk to us to make sure you’re clear on the key details of the plan(s) you’re considering before beginning the enrollment process, and to have us help you navigate the system.
What has your experience been with What questions do you have? Let us know — we’d love to hear from you.
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