SAN DIEGO--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--To help the estimated 50 million uninsured Americans facing important health care decisions, Intuit Inc. (Nasdaq: INTU) today announced the availability of TurboTax AnswerXchange, a first-of-its-kind social community designed to give people personalized, unbiased answers to their Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” questions.
“How much money will the government give me to pay for insurance?”
It’s created for people like Ana Rosales, a 38- year-old mother of three who is uninsured and who wonders about the type of health care coverage available and the costs of participating in the Affordable Care Act’s, insurance exchanges, which begin operating on Oct. 1.
Rosales and millions of others like her can now use TurboTax AnswerXchange, an independent social community dedicated to helping people make health insurance decisions with confidence. Available now at www.turbotaxanswerxchange.com, the AnswerXchange is free. It analyzes the personal information provided by users and combines that with the knowledge and experience of an online community to provide answers for the millions of Americans who need health insurance answers tailored to their family, income, location and health needs.
Unlike other online question-and-answer sites, the TurboTax AnswerXchange provides personalized answers to the hundreds of questions Americans are asking about the Affordable Care Act. In the face of continued confusion and uncertainty about health care reform, the need for individualized answers has never been greater. According to a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll, 76 percent of uninsured respondents said they didn't understand the law and how it would affect them.
“Health care decisions are highly personal and one-size definitely does not fit all,” said Jane Sarasohn-Kahn MA, MHSA, health economist and management consultant with THINK-Health and Health Populi blog. “Millions of people will be making health insurance decisions for the first time and are looking for tools to help them do just that. People are looking for do-it-yourself solutions like they use in other aspects of their daily lives. The TurboTax AnswerXchange is emerging as a unique solution that can deliver just what people need – a simple, actionable answer for their particular situation.”
Online Q&A Reinvented
The TurboTax AnswerXchange is uniting the power of the community with advanced algorithms into a single solution to deliver specific, personalized health coverage answers to hundreds of questions in ways that neither could do alone. The best answers rise to the top, allowing the community to sort the wheat from chaff to show each user the best questions and answers that are most relevant to them.
Users start by completing a few simple questions: marital status, age, children, income and state of residence. The TurboTax AnswerXchange automatically shows them how much the government will pay for their health insurance if they qualify. It also shows the estimated penalty for those who decide not to purchase healthcare coverage. This information helps people make an informed decision to meet their health care needs and budget.
A clear, simple design makes it easy to find and view questions and answers. Users can sign up to follow individual questions, each other and topic areas to stay current on the most relevant information for them. Users who can’t find a question similar to theirs can submit their own.
The AnswerXchange is expanding to answer individual questions with specific answers. The answers will become increasingly relevant and improve as more and more people participate. Users have already asked more than 1,000 questions, with that number more than doubling every two weeks.
“With so many variables under the Affordable Care Act, each person needs a personalized answer based on where they live, their family makeup, how much money they make and how much out-of-pocket expense they can afford,” said Sasan Goodarzi, senior vice president of Intuit’s Consumer Tax Group. “While it’s true that common questions will be answered by many, the TurboTax AnswerXchange is focused on delivering tailored answers to individual questions.”
The Power of Pros and Peers
The TurboTax AnswerXchange combines the expertise of tax and health care professionals and the personal experience of peers. The AnswerXchange is inspiring a growing group of contributors who themselves are navigating the waters of health insurance decision-making providing answers to wide-ranging questions
- An uninsured single man in Illinois asked: “How much money will the government give me to pay for insurance?” AnswerXchange provided a precise dollar amount based on where he lives and his income.
- The wife of a U.S. serviceman on active military duty asked “How will Obamacare affect active duty family members?” AnswerXchange offered specific information about military coverage benefits and informed her that she and her family are already covered.
- A recently married college student asked “Can I choose the insurance offered by my college instead of going through a state exchange?” AnswerXchange determined that he could choose either private insurance or insurance provided through his state exchange and helped him understand the available options.
Another early user, Marisela Nava, 47 of Oakland, Calif., explained how the TurboTax AnswerXchange gave her the information she needed.
“My husband has diabetes and I’m paying a lot of money for insurance through my employer and our medical expenses are high. I needed to know whether we’d pay less for insurance and if my husband would be able to get coverage with his pre-existing condition,” Nava said. “I used the TurboTax AnswerXchange and learned that because my employer-sponsored insurance is not considerable affordable under the new law, we’re eligible for a subsidy and will pay much less for insurance. Now we have the peace of mind and confidence to move forward and find the right plan for us.”
About Intuit Inc.
Intuit Inc. creates business and financial management solutions that simplify the business of life for small businesses, consumers and accounting professionals.
Its flagship products and services include QuickBooks®, Quicken® and TurboTax®, which make it easier to manage small businesses and payroll processing, personal finance, and tax preparation and filing. Mint.com provides a fresh, easy and intelligent way for people to manage their money, while Demandforce® offers marketing and communication tools for small businesses. ProSeries® and Lacerte® are Intuit's leading tax preparation offerings for professional accountants.
Founded in 1983, Intuit had revenue of $4.2 billion in its fiscal year 2013. The company has approximately 8,000 employees with major offices in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, India and other locations. More information can be found at www.intuit.com.