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Insurance Illiterate? Website Navigates Through Coverage Options

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Tuesday, December 9, 2014   

DENVER - Navigating the myriad of health insurance options can make anyone's eyes cross, particularly Coloradans who are new to insurance coverage.

The new Covered U website, created by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI), aims to help the state's newly-insured residents navigate how and where to best access their health care services.

Adam Fox, director of strategic engagement at the health initiative, says the site also offers value to consumers by enabling Coloradans to compare plans.

"People can compare what their costs are with insurance, and without, and view numbers based on where they get care," says Fox.

According to a recent survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, many people are confused about available insurance options, with only four percent of those surveyed answering all questions correctly.

Colorado resident Nicollette Violante "learned the hard way" how insurance works, and the importance of in-network providers when she had to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket for an anesthesiologist after a surgery. She said Covered U helped her understand what she could have done differently.

"I really like the website," she says. "I understand the different tiers of insurance. I now understand what a deductible is."

Fox says with thousands of Coloradans now covered through the state's Health Exchange and Medicaid expansion, many residents are unfamiliar with insurance concepts.

"You have a lot of people who have been chronically uninsured for years," he says. "There's a lot they really need to be able to make sense of in order to use their health insurance effectively."

Covered U helps users better utilize their current health insurance, or shop for health coverage - even walking customers through various health-coverage scenarios to gain a hands-on understanding.

Covered U is on-line at www.CoveredU.org.

CCHI is launching the website's Spanish version this week.


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