The federal Obamacare website has a new look once again, as the Obama administration tries to rebound from the portal’s disastrous October debut by touting fixes to the website and new tools to cope with thousands of users at the same time.
HealthCare.gov now features a blue motif with graphics that let people calculate costs, compare plans before they apply or head straight into the application.
A large message across the top of the home page also tells consumers to enroll by Dec. 23 “for coverage starting as soon as Jan. 1.”
Administration officials are hoping for a smooth December after the website crashed upon its Oct. 1 debut due to a crush of users, a hurdle that revealed more serious problems with the portal’s software.
The new look is the third major iteration of the site, which first featured a smiling woman who was quickly dubbed “glitch girl” amid the site’s problems. Later, the site used multicolored graphics to tout alternate ways to enroll in Obamacare.
On Sunday, the administration said the website should work for most users — an message aimed at fulfilling their long-standing goal of having HealthCare.gov working well by December, yet short of a “mission accomplished” type of announcement.
Realizing that users who struggled early on may return to the website in droves, the administration installed a “consumer-friendly queuing system” that will alert users to the best time to shop if they struggle to get on the system.
“During times of especially high demand, you may be queued to begin your online Marketplace application to ensure the best possible shopping experience,” a message on home page says.