Shopping for health insurance is hard. It is a long, confusing process where the choices have wildly different features that make comparing one plan to another practically meaningless. I wasted so much time on healthcare.gov last year that this year I was determined to figure out the best way to shop for health insurance.
The website I ended up trying out is policygenius.com (affiliate link. see below). I tried shopping on both policygenius.com and healthcare.gov to test them out. Here are the results.
Prices, Plans, and Coverage Levels
Same, same, and same. I found the same plans on both policygenius.com and healthcare.gov. I absolutely love comparison shopping to find the best deal so it disappoints me to tell you there was no reason to shop on both websites. They gave me the same plans.
Amount of Your Time Each Website Will Waste
This is where policygenius.com (al) is the big winner. I was able to get a qoute in just a few minutes on policygenius. I just entered a couple of basic questions and it showed me all the plans I was eligible for. Pretty easy and it took just a few minutes.
Healthcare.gov on the other hand was the kind of inefficient, slow, bloated, slow process that you would expect out of a government. If this is your first year on healthcare.gov I would plan on it taking a minimum of 30 minutes, and that is if you have every bit of information about you and your family you could possibly imagine readily available. If it is going to take you some time to look up some of that information it might take much longer. I actually used healthcare.gov last year, so the website already had all my information already stored in it and it still took me 20 minutes of wasting time with endless confirmation of information before they even let me see how much the plans cost.
Sure, policygenius.com is going to ask you for a bunch of information to sign up for a plan, but they only ask for relevant information, and only after you select the plan you need. With healthcare.gov you have to enter all kinds of pointless information for no reason whatsoever before they even let you shop for a plan.
I just needed a plan for my wife, my insurance and my kids insurance is taken care of. But healthcare.gov still made me enter the information for all the people in my family that didn’t even need insurance. Why? Just to waste my time. If the sheer volume of useless questions didn’t make me mad enough, healthcare.gov wasted even more of my time with it’s awful format.
If they had me just fill out 1 big form on 1 page I could have filled the whole thing out in a couple minutes and gotten on to the real reason I was there, to shop for plans. But no, they designed the site to waste as much of my time as they possibly could. The site asked me 1 question at a time with 1 question per page. First I would wait for the page to load, then answer the question, then confirm my answer on the next page. On and on and on.
I cannot imagine it is possible to use healthcare.gov without hating it.
The Best Way To Shop For Health Insurance Is…
Policygenius.com (al). Shopping for health insurance is complicated, and I don’t think it is fair to say that policygenius makes it easier, but at least the website is designed in a reasonably efficient way that doesn’t waste your time. Yay!
Disclosure: I was not paid by policygenius.com or healthcare.gov to write this article. Links marked (affiliate link) or (al) are affiliate links. Artofbeingcheap.com may earn money if you click on an affiliate link. 10% of all money the ABC earns are donated to the charity noted on the upper right hand side of this website.
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