Officials promise smoother shopping experience this time
The website for buying insurance plans under President Barack Obama’s health care law will open early ahead of the new enrollment period, officials said Sunday, as the Administration looks to avoid a repeat of HealthCare.gov’s disastrous initial rollout last year.
The website will reopen Monday to allow consumers to “window shop” health insurance market places before enrollment starts Nov. 15, said Marilyn Tavenner, the Administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The early browsing option is different from last year’s enrollment period, when consumers couldn’t see details of plans until enrollment started.
“New features will give consumers a comprehensive picture of the plans in their area so they can choose the one that’s right for them,” Tavenner said in a statement.
Officials have also made the process of browsing plans easier: Last year, consumers had to answer a series of questions before even seeing plans. Now, all they have to do is enter their zip code.
The botched rollout of HealthCare.gov severely handicapped the opening months of implementation of Obama’s signature domestic achievement, giving fodder to Republican critics of the law. Officials eventually fixed problems with the website and final enrollment figures exceeded expectations.