SPOTLIGHT: HHS offers health plan tools on website

As part of the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has placed new consumer-friendly tools on its website to promote greater financial transparency. Estimated monthly premiums for specific healthcare policies are now available on the website, along with cost-sharing information for all plans, including deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs. In addition to the financial disclosures, insurers are also now required to report what percentage of applicants were denied coverage, and what percentage were charged higher premiums due to their health status. "These changes will help Americans find coverage that meets their needs and that gives them value for their dollars now," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Press Release