While the big news for Healthcare.gov focused on the self imposed November 30th deadline, the folks brought in to help repair the website made a few other subtle changes that should have a large impact. Visitors will immediately notice that the main banner on the home page sports a different look.
A feature that the site has chosen to once again promote is SEE PLANS BEFORE I APPLY. We have written in the past about how this feature was previously broken and very misleading, but as of late sunday night many of the issues we had pointed out look to have been addressed. Gone are the confusing 49 and under / 50 and over options, replaced instead with simple options to type in your age and add additional family members.
Consumers can now browse the different plan options and the premiums will properly scale based upon the age and size of family. Users can also preview the cost sharing details for in network providers as well as find links to plan brochures, drug formularies and provider directories. All in all the new functionality is a dramatic improvement over the original tool, and significantly more useful for consumers looking to explore their health insurance marketplace options.
The tool could still do with some improvements as it currently does not factor in Tobacco Rates or Subsidy Calculations but it looks like there is a focused effort on improving all aspects of the consumer experience.