When Paper is Better

Last week, I spent some time shopping for a new health insurance plan for our family. Two takeaways:

1) The new Massachusetts Health Connector is really great — the health connector is a state-run exchange that helps you find, choose, and purchase a health plan, either a state-run plan or a private plan.  My experience using the site was great — the process was very clear and user-friendly, and the customer service on the phone was really good.  This exchange is a model for the country,  and it felt and worked way way way better than most government websites.

2) There are some times when paper is just better.  I haven’t purchased a new health plan in something like 6 years, so it took me a while to wrap my head around all of the possibilities.  The Health connector has a nice online comparison tool which gave me a good start.  But in the end I was comparing a large number of plans, and needed a higher-bandwidth way to cross check and understand the tradeoffs.  So I ended up going the old fashioned route and printing out the listing of all a whole bunch of plans.  Doing it this way made all the difference, and within a few minutes I had narrowed my search down to two or three.  FWIW, in the end we settled on a high-deductible PPO plan with a health savings account.

So, I love computers but here’s to paper too!


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