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Obama administration overhauls HealthCare.gov

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Oct. 2, 2013: A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York. (AP)

The Obama administration is in the process of revamping the troubled HealthCare.gov website, and scrapping large parts of the federal health-insurance marketplace in order to dodge the problems that troubled the launch of ObamaCare last year.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the makeover is not without its own problems, and that the tight timeline given in order to accomplish it is raising further concerns that consumers could face yet another difficult rollout in the fall. According to a presentation made by federal officials to insurers, some key back-end functions, such as a system to automate payments, are already behind schedule.

Additionally, the site is still transitioning to new government contractors for the basic functions of the site.

Among the reported changes in the new version of HealthCare.gov is a revamp of the application for coverage, as well as an overhaul of the comparison tool that lets them shop for plans, The Wall Street Journal reports.

By 2015, it is intended that the site will have a new home page, visual design and tools to help them learn about the program. It will be optimized for mobile devices and run on Amazon.com's cloud computing service.

"We're all going to be nervous until November 15," said Shaun Greene, chief operating officer of Utah-based Arches Health Plan. "There is no wiggle room. They're on a very tight time frame."

Officials are still grappling with problems from the first enrollments. Contractors are working through a backlog of 2 million consumers whose applications have discrepancies, CMS officials confirmed this week. Those consumers are getting tax credits toward the cost of coverage, but made income projections or statements about their immigration status that didn't match federal data.

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