Kimberlee Lauer is ready for an answer.
More than a week since she first tried to sign in at HealthCare.gov, Lauer has spent hours trying to get a user profile set up so that she can peruse her insurance options under the new health-care law.
She talked with a customer service representative over the phone. But due to continued capacity and design problems on the government-run website, Lauer still hasn’t received a definitive answer on what kind of policies she might be able to purchase on the federally mandated online marketplace that opened Oct.
Thankfully, some useful online resources have popped up to help people navigate the process of complying with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, often called Obamacare. From detailing how much you could pay for a plan to helping you determine whether you should be shopping for new insurance at all, here are some go-to tools that might help during this otherwise confusing time:
• HealthCare.gov on Oct. 1 made available the raw data showing all of the plans available to people by county or parish. The data is downloadable in a variety of formats, including Microsoft Excel. And you don’t need a sign-in to get it!
• Using that raw data, Jonathan Wu of ValuePenguin.com, a consumer-oriented personal finance website, created an online widget that can help folks see their specific plan options even if they’re not able to successfully sign in to the government website. The website has a few kinks that Wu and his staff have been working on, but it could be used to provide some ballpark information that consumers might find useful.