After much anticipation, last fall’s kickoff to enrollment in health care plans under the Affordable Care Act did not go as planned.
“Look, there's no denying it, right now the website is too slow, too many people have got stuck and I am not happy about it,” President Obama said last October.
“I am as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of Healthcare.gov,” added Kathleen Sebelius, the former Health & Human Services Secretary.
But now with round two of enrollment officially underway, the Obama Administration is hoping things will be easier for consumers this time around.
For starters, the application process has been reduced from 76 screens to 16, making the Healthcare.gov website more user-friendly.
This year consumers will also have more choices, with 63 more insurers offering plans across 44 states.
Open enrollment kicked off Saturday November 15 and so far people seem to be responding well with more than 23,000 people submitting applications within the first eight hours.
That’s much more than day one last year when internal notes revealed just six applications went through.
As for those who already enrolled during last year’s enrollment period, they’ll find much of their information will carry over instead of having to reenter it.
The enrollment period closes February 15th.
Those who do not sign up for health insurance by that deadline will be forced to pay a penalty.