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Take advantage of technology via the marketplace and access crucial health care coverage information.

Historically, asking everyday Americans to navigate health care coverage was like asking passengers to fly the plane.

Actually, that’s really not much of an exaggeration. Chances are good that you can relate to the problem, whether you obtained your health care coverage through an employer, through a broker, directly from an insurer or through one of the public exchanges created after the passage of the ACA.

Health economist expert, Austin Frakt, published an article in the New York Times detailing his inability to estimate the true cost of the health care plans offered by the federal employee program and the difficulties he faced in picking the proper plan. He pointed out that there is a striking lack of transparency and great difficulty in comparing how much each plan would pay for various services.

One of the issues often faced has been that the prices quoted for plans aren’t the “real” prices; monthly premiums aren’t all that you pay. There are deductibles (the amount you have to pay out of pocket before insurance pays anything at all), co-insurance fees (the percentage you have to pay per doctor’s visit, no matter what), co-payments (the fixed amounts you have to pay per visit) and out-of-pocket maximums (the total number of real dollars you have to spend before insurance covers everything).

Comparing the “real” prices of different plans is nearly impossible. It can take hours just to estimate the “real” amount you’ll have to pay for coverage under one plan.
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The Solution: Technology and Marketplace

A Harvard study found most Americans are not completely sure what is covered by their health insurance, understandably so.. The average health plan is filled with hard to understand jargon (for instance the difference between co-insurance and co-payments?), and online summaries are often worded where you have to scroll through dozens of pages to gather information for a single plan.  

It’s no wonder that most Americans are confused by – and unhappy with – their health insurance, or a large number of people experience “buyers’ remorse” after choosing a plan.

A private health care marketplace takes advantage of economies of scale to greatly benefit those shopping for health care coverage. It allows associations, smaller companies and individuals to use their combined purchasing power to obtain better plan options, at better prices, than would be available otherwise. To be clear, a private marketplace is very different than the public exchanges set up by states after the implementation of the ACA and are far superior.

Today’s advanced technology, available with has made it more efficient, more accurate and a pleasure to use.

Here’s how many of the difficulties we’ve listed are mitigated or eliminated through your Association private health care coverage marketplace:

A unified marketplace for health care coverage plans

A private marketplace is typically able to have many more choices available to participants. Because insurers are likely to offer a larger number of plans to their more important partners, and the power of the marketplace’s large customer base can be leveraged into a robust selection of health care coverage options. All of these plans are fully detailed on the one marketplace website so there’s no need to go shuttling around the web to every provider’s website.

Better pricing

The large, combined member base of your Association private health care marketplace does not just mean more choice. It also means lower prices than are generally available to the public, because providers will always offer their lowest costs when there is a high volume of business to be written.

Comparison tools

The advanced technology of this health care coverage marketplace makes it possible to set up comprehensive comparison tools and cost estimators. Many of these tools can show you side-by-side displays of those nasty deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance charges, as well as readouts of “real” prices. This advanced private marketplace even offers “modeling” tools which can accurately estimate the true costs of real-life events like a pregnancy or a sprained ankle, for each plan you’re considering.

Health economist expert Austin Frakt also offered up a prescription for the problems listed above: Use modern technology to access crucial information regarding health care coverage offerings.

Here’s the good news. That prescription exists and is available through your assocation at

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