Health Law Helper website
HealthLawHelper.org Can Help People Understand Their Options and Take Advantage of Tax Benefits; Open Enrollment starts November 15
November 14, 2014
Yonkers, NY - With the open enrollment period for health coverage beginning on Saturday, November 15, Consumer Reports has a web-based tool at HealthLawHelper.org offering valuable information to help consumers navigate their healthcare options.
The newly updated web-based tool at www.HealthLawHelper.org offers personalized guidance to help consumers better understand how they may be affected by the Affordable Care Act. The tool is also available in Spanish at AseguraTuSalud and across a variety of platforms, including mobile and tablet.
“Health Law Helper is designed to help consumers quickly and easily get information about how the health care law may affect them and their families, understand any new options that may be available, and provide direction on how and when to take action,” said DeAnn Friedholm, Director of Health Reform at Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports.
Launched in September 2013, Health Law Helper has been updated to connect consumers with critical information about tax credits under the health law and how to qualify. Last year, 80 percent of people who signed up for coverage under the new law also qualified for tax credit discounts.
The site allows consumers to get connected with advice from Consumer Reports experts about what to do if a plan is being cancelled. Consumers can submit their coverage questions and stories to Consumer Reports experts. The revised site also reflects all the changes for the new open enrollment season, which is much shorter this year and ends on February 15, 2015.
A recent survey on health care costs conducted by Consumer Reports in 2014 found one-third of all consumers indicated they had postponed doctor visits, tests, filling prescriptions, or surgery, due to cost. Nearly half (46 percent) of the underinsured denied themselves medical treatment for reasons of cost. And, more than half of consumers said their deductible is too high (52 percent) and their premium is too high (51 percent).
HealthLawHelper.org is a customized, consumer-tested platform that takes complex insurance information and breaks it down into practical and useful nuggets for the average consumer. The tool has been designed to address a wide variety of individual situations and circumstances. Using the online tool is a simple process for consumers. They are asked to answer basic questions about their whereabouts (state and citizenship status), their family (including size and household income), and their current health insurance status.
Some things about the site haven’t changed. You can still use it to:
- Get personalized advice on our best options for insurance coverage and whether you need to make any changes during the open enrollment season.
- Learn about penalties and tax requirements under the new law.
- Connect with resources including in-person assistance, tips on picking a health plan, and much more.
“Make sure you have the coverage you need,” Ms. Friedholm said. HealthLawHelper.org can help you understand your options—and make the smartest decision for you and your family.”
Consumer Reports is the world’s largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over eight million subscribers to its magazine, website, and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, food and product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.