Electa Draper, The Denver Post

“The Colorado Consumer Health Initiative Wednesday launched a new website,“Covered U,” to help the newly insured navigate how and where to find health care services. CoveredU.org is a tool that community-based health groups and Connect for Health Colorado guides could use to help educate health care consumers on buying and using health insurance, CCHI says.

“Now that Coloradans can sign up for health insurance again under open enrollment, it’s important that they not only know how to buy the best plan for their health care needs, but also know how to use that insurance,” Adam Fox, CCHI director of strategic engagement, said in a press release. “The interactive website will allow consumers to compare their health care choices and costs in basic scenarios and identify what kind of coverage might best suite them.”

Users can either select either “How to USE your health insurance” or “How to SHOP for health insurance.” The section on using insurance offers “choose your own adventure” style medical scenarios, such as sick, cut or appendicitis, and shows options for provider locations, such as doctor’s office, urgent care center or emergency room. It gives a cost estimate for each choice.

The shopping-for-insurance section helps consumers compare basic levels of coverage and plan types. “The big news is that almost everyone will be able to get health insurance through Connect for Health Colorado,” said CCHI’s Fox. “But a big part of health insurance is how and where somebody accesses care. Now it’s easy to get the guidance they need to use their health insurance most appropriately and most affordably.”

A Nov. 11 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found many Americans with less education, younger people and the uninsured do not understand how to most effectively use health insurance.”

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