Senior Policy Analyst
Consumers can shop for 2020 health insurance coverage during the open enrollment period of November 1 to December 15 but, if they use enrollment pathways other than HealthCare.gov, they risk choosing subpar coverage and missing out on financial help for which they’re eligible in the marketplace.
HealthCare.gov and state-based marketplaces offer the gold standard shopping experience, where a consumer can see every plan offering comprehensive coverage in their area, determine their eligibility for financial assistance, and use various tools to compare premiums, cost-sharing, provider networks, and other metrics.
This year, consumers visiting HealthCare.gov can choose from an average of 38 plans, and 79 percent of marketplace consumers can buy coverage for less than $75 a month, after accounting for federal premium tax credits.
If, despite those advantages, consumers shop outside HealthCare.gov, they should:
HealthCare.gov and state-based marketplaces have valuable tools to compare and enroll in comprehensive, affordable coverage, and assistance is available from certified navigators or application counselors. Consumers shouldn’t be misled by deceptive and persistent marketing and miss the chance to enroll in a good-quality plan.