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Bill Radke: The new healthcare.gov insurance Web portal has just been launched, but already companies are jockeying for the contract to create a new version of the site -- the one that's supposed to bring comparison shopping to health insurance. From our Marketplace Health Desk at WHYY, Gregory Warner reports.
Gregory Warner: Type your zip code into the healthcare.gov website launched yesterday and you can see all the insurance plans available to you. That information has never been public, says DeAnn Friedholm of Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports.
DEANN FRIEDHOLM: They will now be able to build on this to include information that's even more helpful to consumers.
Such as how much are premiums, what really do they cover. That information hits the site in October. Ehealthinsurance.com, the online broker, is bidding for the contract to design those comparison tools. So is DestinationRx, the company that provides software on the Medicare website to compare prescription drug plans. Vice president Jim Yocum says that within weeks after his tools went public in 2006.
JIM YOCUM: We saw prices flatten. For dozens of brand name drugs.
He says insurance premiums may even out, but comparing premiums is harder because insurance companies can still price you differently based on your medical history. They can do that until 2014.
In Philadelphia, I'm Gregory Warner for Marketplace.