Two new initiatives from Consumer Reports are designed to help health consumers make more educated choices on their insurance selections and treatment options.

The organization has updated its Health Law Helper tool, in English and Spanish, to aid consumers in understanding changes to open enrollment on the federal health insurance exchange, including available tax credits and how to qualify.

The tool, available online and across multiple platforms including mobile and tablet devices, also enables consumers to get personalized advice from Consumer Reports experts if their plan is being cancelled or they need to make changes to their coverage.

Tips for selecting a plan also are offered. When starting to use the tool, consumers will be asked basic questions about their state and citizenship status, family size and household income, and current health insurance status.

Consumer Reports also has inked a deal to make decision support information available to users of the Dossia personal health record/population health management platform. Under the arrangement, Dossia members will have access to free reports and videos covering tests, treatment, drugs, supplements, hospital and physician ratings, and pricing information, according to the companies. Also being made available are evidence-based lists of tests and procedures for patients to discuss with their physician when putting together a treatment plan.

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