|[March 17, 2014]
New Resource Helps Californians Compare Out-of-Pocket Insurance Costs in Marketplace Coverage
SACRAMENTO, Calif. --(Business Wire)--
The National Health Council (NHC) and the California Partnership for
Access to Treatment (CPAT) hosted "Putting Patients First:
Getting Patients to the Right Plan," at the Sacramento Convention Center
today, an event to unveil a new online toolkit to assist Californians
with lowering their healthcare costs by finding the right insurance plan
to meet their health and budget needs.
Created by the NHC, PuttingPatientsFirst.net is a customized platform
that assists consumers in researching the expected health care costs in
the marketplace using a personalized out-of-pocket cost estimator and
patient scenarios. The tool can explain how an individual's costs can
vary under different health insurance plan designs.
"Our goal is to help consumers understand their out of pocket health
care costs as they shop for a marketplace plan in California," said Marc
Boutin, Executive Vice President and COO of the National Health Council.
"Patients currently do not have the tools to fully understand the full
impact of insurance costs by using PuttingPatientsFirst.net, patients
can estimate their costs based on their health care needs, including
prescription medications, and choose from six patient scenarios to see
how changes in health needs impact the selection of health insurance
plans through Covered California."
As of March 4, According to Covered California, 38,507 consumers in four
Sacramento-area counties had enrolled in coverage. Statewide,
approximately 729,000 California residents have enrolled for health
coverage through Covered California. The state had projected signing up
about 500,000 to 700,000 individuals in private coverage by the end of
open enrollment March 31. (Dembosky, "State of Health," KQED, 2/19).
"Recent data shows most people are enrolling in bronze and silver
plans," said Liz Helms, California Chronic Care Coalition President.
"But for people with complex chronic conditions, lower premium plans may
not always be the best choice. We want patients to make the right
decisions the first time. PuttingPatientsFirst.net will help patients
evaluate their health care needs, decide what combination of cost and
coverage works best for them in the long run, and consider their options
using different plan groups prior to purchasing coverage."
Since Covered California lunched January 1, more than 24,000 low-income
Californians have been dropped from health plans they had pre-ACA. Most
of the more than 600,000 residents dropped from the Low Income Health
Program do qualify for Medi-Cal but those who don't are now left to find
coverage for themselves. Cancellations also include plans for residents
with chronic disease and disabilities who depend on their health care
plans for medications and treatment. (Department of Healthcare
Services Release 12/31/2013)
"Now that the marketplace is largely up and running, it's important that
California's minority populations have the tools to make informed
decisions when choosing a health insurance plan," stated Alice Huffman,
State Conference President California Hawaii NAACP. "Similar to
purchasing a vehicle, consumers need to research prior to their
purchase, whether a Mini Van or a Mini Cooper best suits their
needs, based on personal and family factors such as income, health
conditions and where you live. PuttingPatientsFirst.net helps all of
California's diverse communities explore their options prior to securing
affordable coverage by understanding the full impact of their health
For more information on this Putting Patients First event visit: https://gettingpatientstotherighthealthplan-cpatseminar.eventbrite.com/
The National Health Council (NHC) is the only organization that
brings together all segments of the health community to provide a united
voice for the more than 133 million people living with chronic diseases
and disabilities and their family caregivers. For more information visit www.nationalhealthcouncil.org.
The California Partnership for Access to Treatment (CPAT) is a
diverse network of advocacy organizations, community groups, health care
providers and employers, committed to ensuring a healthy and productive
California. For more information visit www.caaccess.org.
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