Healthcare.gov runs the risk of offering too many health plan choices and the opportunity exists to be able to make it easier for consumers to compare coverage, the websites CEO, Kevin Counihan, said Monday.
Right now on average there are 40 choices for every consumer to choose from, with up to 130 choices present in one community. Recalling his time as director of marketing at the Massachusetts Health Connector, Counihan said market research shows people prefer fewer options.
Referring to Healthcare.gov, he said Monday at a HIX conference in Washington, D.C., there are options we think and solutions we think to make this simpler for people selecting health insurance.
He later added that the Department of Health and Human Services believes choice is a fundamental aspect of the marketplace and consumers need to have it. [We] want to do it in such a way to make it easier and simpler to understand what those choices are, however, he added.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Counihan said he believes the best is yet to come on exchanges for a variety of reasons. So much of what we are doing now is working on correcting and enhancing back office functions to make sure that it is simpler and smoother with our issuers and to make us more self-sustaining and functional, he said.
This is something that is not rocket science, he added. Its things you get from listening to your customers.
Among the other changes Counihan said are coming on Healthcare.gov are better decision support tools to help people find the right plan. He pointed to New Yorks state-run exchange as having a good tool to help people select the right people. That is a clear goal for us, Counihan said.
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