Those seeking health plans on the state and federal marketplaceexchanges will be able to use a number of new features to estimateout-of-pocket costs, and to discover which prescription drugs, doctors andfacilities are covered in their area.

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The new features, which had been piloted by the Centers forMedicare and Medicaid Services earlier during the currentenrollment period, are now “fully deployed” for all consumersseeking insurance, CMS announced on Friday.

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The features, which were previously tested on about a quarter ofHealthcare.gov shoppers, are aimed atbetter aligning a person’s specific needs with their insurancepolicy. Since their pilot launch, roughly two million consumershave used the tools, said the agency.

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“Listening to consumers has always been our top priority andthis year we heard their call for additional resources to help themsearch for and identify the best plan for their families,” saidKevin Counihan, CEO of the Health Insurance Marketplace. “Allconsumers visiting HealthCare.gov to search for coverage ahead ofthe December 15 enrollment deadline will be provided with relevant,personalized and more up-to-date information about their planoptions before enrolling.”

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The tools are made available by recently-implementedrequirements that insurers provide regularly updated informationabout the specific providers in their network and medicationsincluded in their formularies.

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Not all participating insurers have fully complied, CMSconcedes. But it says that the online portal currently includesdata from over 90 percent of them. Shoppers seeking information onan insurer that has not provided data will be alerted to thatfact.

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Furthermore, CMS is urging consumers to contact doctors listedas in an insurer’s network to make sure that the information iscorrect.

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Consumers will be asked to opt-in to use the tool to be surethey understand limitations with the data and will be able to leavecomments and suggestions for improvement directly through thesite.

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On Thursday, CMS similarly unveiled a new set of metrics thatwill be included on its two websites that allow consumers tocompare ratings for different doctors and hospitals thatparticipate in Medicare. The new metrics include performance scoresbased on patient feedback as well as performance scores forindividual physicians and group practices.

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The two websites, Medicare.gov/physiciancompare and Medicare.gov/hospitalcompare, were mandated as part ofthe Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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