As consumers count down to today’s enrollment deadline for Jan. 1 coverage, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that new consumer decision support features piloted earlier this enrollment season are now fully deployed for all visitors.  The new Out-of-Pocket Cost calculator, Doctor and Facility Lookup, and Prescription Drug Lookup features will help consumers to more easily search for the plan that best meets their budget and health needs.

“We are constantly focused on improving the consumer experience,” said Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Health Insurance Marketplace. “Over the past month, we have tested and improved these new decision support features on to help consumers pick the plan that best meets their needs. Listening to consumers has always been our top priority and this year we heard their call for additional resources to help them search for and identify the best plan for their families. All consumers visiting to search for coverage ahead of the December 15 enrollment deadline will be provided with relevant, personalized and more up-to-date information about their plan options before enrolling.”

Based on consumer feedback about the information they want to help pick the right health plan, a number of new features have been developed for Since Nov. 1, a new Out-of-Pocket Cost calculator has helped consumers better estimate the cost of their health insurance based on their own personal situation. The feature provides consumers with an estimate of what their premiums, deductibles, and co-pays may be, based on their own anticipated health care service utilization, for each specific plan.  Understanding total out of pocket costs for any given coverage option is essential for consumers to select the most affordable plan.  Consumers can get this information before they select a plan.

Since Open Enrollment began on Nov. 1, two additional features were piloted: the new Doctor and Facility Lookup feature and the Prescription Drug Lookup feature, which provide consumers with easily searchable information about a plan’s network of doctors and the prescription drugs plans may cover as consumers shop and enroll in coverage. Both tools were initially piloted, reaching about one in four visitors to, selected at random, which allowed developers to examine the consumer experience with the feature and analyze the quality of the data based on consumer feedback.

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