The Department of Health and Human Services has significantly expanded information available on the HealthCare.gov website mandated under the Accountable Care Act to aid consumers in selecting and purchasing health insurance.

HealthCare.gov went live in July but with spotty information from insurers in five categories: services covered, physician locator, drug benefits, price estimates, and a phone number and Web address to contact the plan. Many of the plans only had information listed in some of the categories and none had price estimates.

Now, the website has filled those gaps and added monthly premium estimates, annual deductibles and out-of-pocket limits, consumers' share of cost for services, percent of individuals covered in a plan who pay more than the base premium estimate because of their health status, and percent of individuals denied coverage from a plan. The information comes from about 225 insurers for more than 4,400 policies in every state and the District of Columbia.

HealthCare.gov also offers a widget for other Web sites to enable their visitors to search for insurance coverage. Click here to check it out.

This story has been reprinted with permission from Health Data Management.

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