Pundits opposed to the new health care law and some media outlets have tried to suggest that our coverage of the troubled HealthCare.gov site means that Consumer Reports has turned against the Affordable Care Act.
Not true. Consistent with our mission to inform and protect consumers, particularly in this complicated health care market, our advice remains the same: The best place to buy coverage on your own is through the Health Insurance Marketplace in your state. That guarantees you will get comprehensive coverage, and it's the only way you can lower the cost of your premiums and possibly even your deductibles and copayments.
Doing that online in most states means registering at and shopping through the federal HealthCare.gov. President Obama acknowledged that site's problems at a Rose Garden event today. "Nobody's madder than me about the fact the website isn't working as well as it should," he said. "Which means it's going to be fixed. And in the meantime you can bypass the website and apply by phone or in person." (To do that, go to Find Local Help, part of HealthCare.gov.)
Millions of Americans can go directly to their state's marketplace, including residents of California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
Those who will have to go through HealthCare.gov need to apply by Dec. 15 for coverage to start on Jan. 1, 2014. Open enrollment runs through the end of March 2014. Continue to check back here for continued coverage of HealthCare.gov.
Consumers can also use our free interactive tool, HealthLawHelper.org (in Spanish at Aseguratusalud.org) to get personalized advice about your options and to find out whether you're elligible for financial aid.