In just a few weeks, millions of people will be heading to the federal site HealthCare.gov to shop for medical insurance when a new open-enrollment period begins. If some of those people wind up by mistake at HealthCare.com instead, well, Jeff Smedsrud is fine with that.
Smedsrud is chief executive of HealthCare.com, which holds a seemingly invaluable piece of Internet real estate these days. And he’s looking to make the most of it.
With enrollment in the individual health insurance market re-opening Nov. 15, Smedsrud wants people to direct their browsers to HealthCare.com, where they can shop and compare health plans. HealthCare.com–which compares itself to the travel search site Kayak–is touting a choice of 93,000 plans from about 180 insurers across the country, with the opportunity for consumers to enroll online, over the phone or with a licensed agent or broker.
But health care advocates say there is the potential for massive confusion among consumers trying to find the government’s official site. Users who wind up there by mistake could miss out on subsidies that most would receive if they were shopping on HealthCare.gov.