Monday, October 14, 2013

DotNetDude on HealthCare.gov

DotNetDude on HealthCare.gov
Tonight I spent a few minutes applying for insurance on HealthCare.gov so I could get see the process and options first hand.

As someone who's been developing websites for over 10 years, my first impression was that the site is fairly well designed. The front end was created by a Washington, DC based company named Development Seed. The back end was created by a CGI Group Inc subsidiary, CGI Federal. Not only was CGI Federal the prime contractor for the exchange website, but it received $88 million for it's services. Good work if you can get it!

I was afraid I'd have to answer hundreds of questions, but the application process was very concise and took under 20 minutes. I cannot speak to the application process as it pertains to financial aid as I selected the option to apply without aid.

Since I work as an independent consultant I retain private health insurance which costs me $164/month for a high deductible plan that really only covers catastrophic illness. According to a good friend who works in the insurance industry, it was among the least expensive plans available for someone in my demographic.

Once I entered my information, confirmed my email, and agreed to the very simple terms, I was presented with four categories of plans; Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum. I was pleased to note that the least expensive plan available to me was actually 20% cheaper than my current plan. Without going into minute detail, I can safely say that I can purchase an equivalent plan to my current coverage without spending a penny more.

I love how simple they've made the process of selecting and comparing potential plans. Medical conditions and treatments are laid out with side-by-side summaries of benefits.

This is only my personal experience and is in no way a definitive assessment of the Affordable Care Act or HealthCare.gov, but hopefully my experience will provide insight to others.

If you have any comments or questions, please post them below or contact me on twitter (@gainesk).

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. I hear nothing about the reality of the 'marketplace' from either side, so it's good to hear a personal story.

    Sidenote: If I paid $88 million for a website and it crashed as often as this one has, I'd single-handedly hunt down *everyone* involved in development and hosting. And like villagers of old, I'd be packing nothing but pitchforks and torches.

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  2. I hate to break it to you, Eddie, but you kind of did pay them $88 million. ;-)

    Apparently development the healthcare website was a great illustration in why the government's procurement process needs an overhaul. Getting a government contract involves so much bureaucracy and red tape that most lean and effective companies don't have the manpower to navigate the process and the work usually goes to less capable companies because they have long established relationships with the government.

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