HHS offers widget for identifying health insurance choices

Online insurance-finder widget is interactive

The Health and Human Services Department today launched an online interactive widget to help Americans find affordable health insurance coverage.

Widgets are small computer programs that can be embedded in Web sites, allowing users to click a graphic to launch the program. The HHS Insurance-Finder widget is available at the HealthCare.gov federal Web site created to publicize the health reform legislation passed by Congress earlier this year.

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The HHS insurance-finder widget asks users to select a state and answer other questions to search insurance coverage options. A menu of options is presented, based on the information submitted.

A reporter who used the widget today was shown a menu of more than a dozen health insurance plans available in the selected state; however, much of the pricing information was listed as unavailable until October 2010.

HHS is making the widget code available for download, so that anyone who wants to can embed it in a Web site.

Several government agencies are using wdigets. For example, a widget embedded on partner Web sites drove 20 million visitors to the Food and Drug Administration’s online information center for the peanut recall in 2009. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has created 11 widgets available to the public.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.


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