National Health Council Launches New Resources to Help Patients Compare Out-of-Pocket Marketplace Health Insurance Costs

WASHINGTON, Jan. 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To help consumers understand their out-of-pocket health care costs as they shop for a marketplace insurance plan, the National Health Council (NHC) has launched PuttingPatientsFirst.net, an interactive web-based suite of resources.

PuttingPatientsFirst.net is a unique platform that seeks to make consumers more informed about expected health care costs in the marketplace using a personalized out-of-pocket cost estimator and patient scenarios that explain how an individual's costs can vary under different health insurance plan designs.

Patients currently don't have the tools to understand the full impact of insurance costs, but by using PuttingPatientsFirst.net patients can estimate their costs based on their expected health care needs, including prescription medications, and choose from six patient scenarios to see how changes in health needs impact the selection of insurance plans.

The site also provides a way for patients to share their stories about the health insurance marketplace. This direct input from patients along with quantitative data collected from patient surveys will highlight successes and challenges of coverage expansion and help identify ways to improve the marketplace.

Now that the marketplace is largely up and running, the NHC is excited to help ensure patients have the tools to make informed decisions when choosing a health insurance plan. "Recent data show most people are enrolling in bronze and silver plans," said NHC Chief Executive Officer Myrl Weinberg. "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. 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."

"The Affordable Care Act has already improved the lives of patients across the nation. Insurance reforms make the market more equitable, marketplace subsidies increase the affordability of insurance, and essential health benefits ensure coverage provides access to necessary services," said Weinberg. "As a united voice for the patient community, the NHC is committed to partnering with federal and state governments and health care stakeholders to ensure the success of these important programs. The Putting Patients First® program builds on these early accomplishments and helps move the Affordable Care Act closer to fulfilling its vision of quality, affordable health care for all."

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 with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. Made up of more than 100 national health-related organizations and businesses, the National Health Council's core membership includes approximately 50 of the nation's leading patient advocacy organizations, which control its governance.

Resources:
About the NHC – www.nationalhealthcouncil.org

Out-of-pocket Cost Estimator Fact Sheet – http://www.nationalhealthcouncil.org/NHC_Files/Pdf_Files/PuttingPatientsFirst-Fact_Sheet.pdf

Cost Estimator Infographic -- http://www.nationalhealthcouncil.org/NHC_Files/Pdf_Files/PuttingPatientsFirst-Infographic.pdf

Marketplace Enrollment Information –http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2014/MarketPlaceEnrollment/Jan2014/ib_2014jan_enrollment.pdf

SOURCE National Health Council



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