Healthcare.Gov: Website massively improved, but w/1 major caveat...

Hat Tip To: 
Sam Baker

Sam Baker at the National Journal has an excellent writeup of the technical improvements and limitations of the new HC.gov enrollment website. For the most part it's great news, as I noted a week or so ago. However, there's one key point which is important to take note of:

For starters, returning customers will have to use the old, 78-screen application. New customers can use a simpler, faster, and more streamlined 16-screen version.

Health and Human Services officials said the site will automatically fill in existing consumers' information, such as their address and income, to help speed them through the process even though they have to use a more cumbersome application. That makes sense, as long as consumers take the time to change pre-populated information that has become outdated.

In other words, if you create a brand-new account, you'll use the all-new application system which only has 16 screens of data entry, which is a vast improvement.

However, if you're using an existing account to renew your current plan, change your income/personal data or switch to a new policy, you'll apparently still have to use the old system which only has a single data entry field per screen (which was always incredibly stupid).

The silver lining for returning enrollees is that, as noted, even the old system has supposedly been vastly improved; it'll auto-fill your data, and I'm assuming it'll update it and move onto the next screen much more quickly and smoothly, etc.

However, this is still a bit of a letdown for existing enrollees such as myself. I suppose I could just create another new account to use the new system, but then I'd be concerned about having duplicate accounts/enrollments, etc.

Anyway, there's a bunch of other useful info there; check it out.