New website breaks down Virginia health care options

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Charlottesville for Reasonable Health Insurance, an advocacy group that has fought to lower insurance premiums in Virginia, has launched, a website that gives the details about insurance plans in Virginia so people can choose the best plan for them.

Health care plans can get confusing and expensive. That's why Karl Quist, Sara Stovall, and Ian Dixon, the founders of CRHI, wanted to make sure people are not paying more than necessary.

“Last year when the General Assembly passed a new bill that allowed a number of us to buy plans in the small group market, it was very difficult to find information,” said Quist. “Those prices aren't on So we wanted to build a site where people can see all of the plans that are available to them both in the individual market and in the small group."

The bill broadens the definition of “small employer” so that people who are self-employed or who have a family-run business can also qualify for small group health insurance.

"In the small group market, rates are substantially cheaper,” said Quist. “So Charlottesville rates are about 20 percent less in the small group market than in the individual market."

Stovall also says it is to navigate the new website, but people who want help can get it.

"You come in and we help you determine what you're eligible for whether it's small group, individual, or both,” said Stovall. “And then you can compare premiums and plan details. And when you're ready you can contact a broker in the plan of your choice."

Stovall and Quist said they still have a lot of work to do fighting for affordable health care, but they hope this website helps ease some of the burden.

"In the short term, we're giving people all of the information they need to do the best they can right now," added Stovall.

Stovall said, after last week's election, the group is hopefull Virginia legislators will pass bills that will make health care more affordable and accessible.

Check out the new website at the link in the Related Links box.

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