Last summer, when I was writing a story about health insurance options for early retirees, I found an incredibly useful resource for individuals trying to obtain health insurance for themselves and/or their families: a web site run by Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute. The web site, operating under the generic-sounding title healthinsuranceinfo.net, was a collection of 51 exhaustive guides to the rights and options that individuals have for obtaining health insurance in each of the states plus the District of Columbia. I found these guides, formally known as the Consumer Guides to Getting and Keeping Health Insurance, extremely valuable in navigating the patchwork of laws and organizations that serve as the health insurance safety net, such as it is, in the US.
Unfortunately, just as my article started arriving in people's homes, healthinsuranceinfo.net went offline, the victim of a funding loss at HPI. And offline it has sat, unavailable to the public for the past few months, gathering dust in an electronic lockbox somewhere.
Until recently, that is. Just recently, healthinsuranceinfo.net came back online, thanks to an emergency grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. HPI says it has also received funding to update 15 of the consumer guides over the summer. America is sorely in need of a healthcare and health-insurance overhaul; until the day that comes about, this is a great place for learning about your choices in today's system.