8/12/2015 10:14:43 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Shane Delaney
Acting Director of Marketing and Communications
ST. PAUL, Minn.-MNsure announced today a partnership with Consumers' Checkbook to create an online plan comparison tool, which will help Minnesotans get a more complete picture of their health insurance costs, as well as help them choose their best plan options. Today's announcement is the result of a request for proposals MNsure released in April.
"Consumers' Checkbook is a well-respected, nonprofit organization working with other state-based health insurance exchanges on creating tools that help educate consumers about their plan options," said interim CEO Allison O'Toole. "We know that plan selection is often one of the most confusing parts of enrolling in health insurance coverage. We hope this additional tool will allow Minnesotans to make a more informed health insurance decision."
Consumers' Checkbook will develop plan comparison tools for both the individual market and Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) offered through MNsure. These new tools will help educate consumers to make more informed decisions on the health plan that best fits their needs and budget. The cost-comparison function will provide valuable decision support information for consumers by evaluating not just premiums and deductible amounts, but estimated out-of-pocket costs based on health status and expected use of medical services, as they compare and shop for qualified health plans on MNsure.
MNsure staff are already working with Consumers' Checkbook to prepare and transfer test data and templates for site development, with a target launch of early November.
"MNsure clearly has a strong commitment to helping Minnesotans with the challenging task of choosing the health plans that best meet their needs and preferences," said Robert Krughoff, president of Consumers' Checkbook. "We look forward to working with MNsure to provide this consumer assistance."
In March 2015, Consumers' Checkbook was named the winner of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's "Plan Choice Challenge," a nationwide competition to design technology that helps people choose their best health insurance plan options.
Open enrollment for 2015 coverage began November 15, 2014, and ended February 15, 2015. Minnesotans eligible for Medical Assistance or MinnesotaCare can enroll year-round. As of May 2014, 95 percent of Minnesotans have health coverage--the highest percentage in state history. The 2016 open enrollment period is scheduled to begin November 1, 2015, and end on January 31, 2016.