A central goal of the Affordable Care Act is to create a more transparent, competitive marketplace that gives consumers more information about their health insurance options and ensures better value for their premium dollars. The information on display here - the current data for the HealthCare.gov inventory of insurance plans – helps achieve this goal.
The Affordable Care Act requires that HHS “establish a mechanism, including an internet website, through which a resident of, or small business in, any State may identify affordable health insurance coverage options in that State.” The Healthcare.gov website has been displaying data collected from individual and small group insurance issuers in its Plan Finder since July, 2010.
The information provided allows consumers and researchers to more fully understand the current health insurance marketplace while opening the door of opportunity for innovative developers to provide this information in creative ways to more Americans. For example, a researcher could use this information to identify typical benefit and cost sharing options by region or state to better understand the choices consumers have by specific locations throughout America. There are many possibilities for innovative uses of this data, and we look forward to seeing how the ingenuity of the American people can leverage this data to increase the quality and coverage of health care.
Each element of this data was thoroughly reviewed to ensure that it was appropriate to release to the public by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Freedom of Information Act Office (FOIA) in response to FOIA requests. The data included was determined by the CMS FOIA office to not contain confidential commercial or financial information of the insurers who submitted the data to CCIIO. This frequently requested data typically includes information such as the names of the insurers, their products and plans, as well as benefits and cost sharing options.
The Affordable Care Act creates a marketplace with a free and open exchange of information, where consumers can clearly compare prices and benefits. This data release gives consumers more information about their health insurance options and ensures better value for their premium dollars.