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New Government Resource Helps SMBs Manage The Cost Of Health Insurance

Written by Ken Gaebler
Published: 11/22/2011

With small business health insurance skyrocketing, the federal government releases an online tool to help entrepreneurs find and compare insurance plans.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recently announced the release of an expanded online resource designed to help small business owners compare the benefits and costs of health plans and choose those that are best for their employees.

SMB Healthcare Reform and Changes

The move is intended to foster transparency and competition in the SMB insurance market, providing small business owners with an unbiased view of the insurance products that are available in their local markets. Currently, it's estimated that SMBs spend as much as 18% more than large employers for the same coverage.

"This new information will help business owners navigate what has traditionally been a complicated and confusing decision," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "Both owners and their employees can feel more confident that the plans offered will be the best to suit everyone's needs."

Located at www.HealthCare.gov, the resource was generated based on requirements contained in the Affordable Care Act of 2010. The expanded website includes several new features for business owners, including:

  • Insurance product choices by ZIP code, with filters for out-of-pocket limits, average cost per enrollee, and other variables.
  • Small group product summaries with visibility about deductibles, co-pays, exclusions and other available benefits.
  • Filters for determining whether the plans are Health Savings Account eligible, have prescription drug, mental health, or maternity coverage, or allow for domestic partner or same sex coverage.

"Tens of thousands of small businesses from across America have already logged-on to www.HealthCare.gov to see what health coverage options are available to them," said Steve Larsen, director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight. "The new, unprecedented ability to search at this level of detail will bring the marketplace into better balance by giving insurance purchasers the power of information."

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