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ACA Open Enrollment: Showtime For Health Insurance Sites

During the next three months, consumers can sign up for health insurance during the Affordable Care Act open enrollment period. New technologies at health insurance websites aim to smooth the way.

Americans will have an opportunity during the next three months to sign up for health insurance during the 2015 Obamacare open enrollment period. To prepare, health insurance websites are rolling out a number of new tools and technologies designed to reduce confusion and help consumers locate insurers.

Despite this third-party assistance, the US administration reduced by 30% the number of people it predicted would enroll in government-backed or state health insurance marketplaces over the three-month open enrollment period, which begins on November 15. Originally, the Congressional Budget Office expected 13 million people to enroll; now, they predict that between 9 million and 9.9 million will enroll,Reuters reported.

[Envisioning the Next-Gen Insurer: SMA]

In addition, all may not run smoothly at Healthcare.gov, despite changes over the past 12 months. These included the hiring of Accenture to manage the site and back-end systems, InformationWeek wrote last month.

"Open enrollment this year will be a positive experience for the consumer," said US Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell. But some things "will go wrong... we will have outages. We will have down time."

Healthcare.gov is not the only site using a new tech vendor.

Massachusetts' MassHealth switched to a system from hCentive, developer of Kentucky's website. Maryland turned to Deloitte, which was behind Connecticut's successful site, to replace its trouble-prone first iteration. Idahodebuted its own siteyourhealthidaho.org, with the help of GetInsured and Accenture. Others, like Nevada (which originally used Xerox) and Oregon (nowsuing Oracle) switched to Healthcare.gov this year after trying state-run sites. New Mexico -- which had planned to move individuals to a state-run site in 2015 -- opted to stick with the federal system for another year.

Read the full article on InformationWeek. 

Alison Diana has written about technology and business for more than 20 years. She was editor, contributors, at Internet Evolution; editor-in-chief of 21st Century IT; and managing editor, sections, at CRN. She has also written for eWeek, Baseline Magazine, Redmond Channel ... View Full Bio

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Kelly22
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Kelly22,
User Rank: Author
11/21/2014 | 12:24:14 PM
Catering to customers
Good to see the growing focus on improving the customer experience here. Of course tech operations have their glitches, but hopefully the purchase processes go smoothly for all consumers looking to purchase health insurance.
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