New website available to help shop for health insurance

Pennsylvanians shopping for health insurance have a new tool available to help explore their healthcare options. The Pennsylvania Checkbook website allows consumers to compare plans available on and off the federal health insurance marketplace.

The site allows consumers to compare plans available to them based on the following factors:

  • Estimate of average monthly and yearly total cost, based on an actuarial estimate of premium and out-of-pocket costs for a consumer with the same family size, ages, health status, and other characteristics, which also factors in the potential for subsidies to help pay costs. Seventy-eight percent of Pennsylvanians shopping on the marketplace in 2016 received subsidies;
  • Cost of plan in a high-use year, which estimates out-of-pocket costs if the consumer needs to make frequent use of the plan and the likelihood of that occurring based on health status and other characteristics disclosed;
  • Overall quality of plan, based on feedback from plan members. Consumers can personalize this rating to adjust weights of certain categories such as quality of doctors, ability to access care, and customer service;
  • Doctor availability, which allows consumers to enter the names of their physicians to see which are in-network for each plan;
  • Formulary availability, which allows consumers to enter prescription drugs that they take to check if they are covered in a plan's formulary.

The site features information for plans available through the health insurance marketplace and directly through companies. This will enable Pennsylvanians to find out if a lower-cost plan is available to them off the exchange and to view options side by side.