Today on I went on the Blue Cross website today for my client to get some rates and I was faced with 49 different plans to pick between:
- Do I go with an HSA, PPO or an HMO?
- Do I add the HCCS rider which lowers premiums but adds costs if you utilize “high cost” facilities?
- Do I add the Health Actions rider, which costs some money but rewards the employees and employers with rebates for healthy lifestyles?
- Do I go with a deductible or co-payment plan?
- Do I consider a high deductible plan along with an employer funded HRA plan?
Now that is just one carrier. I need to look at my group and where their employees are located to see what other carriers that I should get quotes for my client. I may even look at smaller networks, with lower premiums, that are offered by Harvard, Fallon and Tufts, if it is a good fit.
I do this every day and have been for almost 20 years. Every day I need to double check to make sure what I believe is correct. On top of that, every day there are new plans and changes to keep abreast.
I am not complaining. My point, however, is that we expect people with no insurance experience to log on a website, input a census, get rates and determine which plan and networks fits their needs? I guarantee you that the few people who have signed up, a large majority may be surprised when they seek services.
Buying health insurance is not like buying a TV on amazon.