Halle-freaking-lujah, the long-awaited makeover of the Obamacare Web site ROCKS.
Three clicks and anyone can browse health care plans – in detail, and with prices.
No more having to create an account simply in order to browse plans.
No more having to have Homeland Security give you a prostate exam before approving you to simply browse plans.
The revamp of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) federal exchange site is exactly what they needed to do. It’s even easier than the DC exchange (and the DC one is great).
We’ve written before about the problems we (Becca and I both) personally had navigating the federal exchange. While the DC exchange worked quite well – you simply had to create a user name and password before you could browse plans – the federal site was a nightmare. You had to go through a long process to create an “application,” simply to browse plans. Then you had to wait several days for the application-to-browse to be approve by angry little gnomes locked in the basement of HHS.
The new site? Click 3 buttons. That’s it.
Let me walk you through how easy the new Obamacare Web site actually is.
Page 1 – The Federal Exchange home page
The federal health care exchange home page is now short and simple, 3 options, making it very clear what you can do with the site.
For our purposes, I chose option 1, “see plans before I apply.”
Page 2 – The new federal exchange info request
If you click on “see plans before I apply” on the home page, you end up on this page, which asks you a few simple questions that take all of under-3o-seconds to answer.
Page 3: The Obamacare federal exchange plans
I filled out page 2 quickly, then landed on this final page with the plans, in detail, prices and all. It was that simple.
I’m actually surprised how well the makeover went. This is perfect. It’s everything I wanted, but admittedly not everything I expected.
There was no reason to require people to “apply” simply to browse plans. And for those who were worried that people might get sticker-shock at the prices of the plans, while not realizing that they might get federal subsidies to pay for the plans, each plan has a very clear notice that “prices will be lower if you quality for help paying for coverage. Read more.”
Whoever designed that first site deserves a firing squad. Whoever designed this makeover deserves a medal.
Let the GOP mock the Affordable Care Act federal exchange now. This thing rocks.*
(*Of course, I’m only reviewing the first half of the site – browsing plans. I look forward to hearing from folks about how the second half, “applying” for coverage – actually using the site to purchase the plans – goes.)