On June 24, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) launched a newly redesigned website that is meant to educate consumers on the novel health care options being created through the implementation of the PPACA. To supplement the website’s educational efforts, a call center was opened that will operate 24 hours a day. After October 1, 2013, both platforms will be used for open enrolment for the purchase of health coverage through the health insurance exchanges that will become operational on January 1, 2014.
According to Gary Cohen, the director for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, the website will allow consumers to determine whether they qualify for a tax break that will lower their health insurance premiums and to make “apples to apples comparisons” of health care options. The key features of the new website, as explained by a HHS news release, “include integration of social media, sharable content, and engagement destinations for consumers to get more information.” The website “will also launch with Web chat functionality to support additional consumer inquiries.” Further, the website should be accessible by consumers using a multitude of platforms, including mobile devices.
The website and the call center are part of a broader educational effort that is taking place across America. In an earlier post, this blog discussed the efforts of Enroll America, a private organization that is seeking to educate Americans on the PPACA and the health insurance exchanges. In the coming months, it is likely that you will begin to see a growing number of high ranking government officials talking to the media about the PPACA in general and the health insurance exchanges in particular.