HHS officials unveil Healthcare.gov improvements, promise longer testing

Andrew Slavitt: Consumers want a faster experience, mobile access

Healthcare.gov is new and improved, federal officials say, so insurers and consumers shouldn't have to deal with the technical glitches that hampered open enrollment last year.

In addition to simplifying the sign-up process and creating a shorter application on the federal health exchange, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has made the website faster and mobile enabled.

What's more, HHS officials will be testing the site for almost six weeks before this year's open enrollment period, which begins Nov. 15. That's compared to 10 days of testing before last year's enrollment, reported Kaiser Health News.

"We're in a very different spot than we were last year, when we were building from whole cloth. Now we've got a body of knowledge that we're continuing to build and learn against," Andrew Slavitt, the principal deputy administrator at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, told reporters at a press briefing, Reuters reported.

The testing will seek to ensure that Healthcare.gov can handle "significantly more [consumers] than the highest peak day last year," Slavitt said. The peak day was the last official day for enrollment, March 31, when the online marketplace handled more than 125,000 users at once and 4.8 million users total that day.

"Consumers want a faster experience," Slavitt said, according to The Washington Post. "They want a more intuitive experience, not to input the same information over and over. And they want mobile."

To learn more:
- read the Kaiser Health News article
- see the Reuters article
- check out The Washington Post article

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