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Administration offers patch for beleaguered Obamacare website

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The Obama administration is trying to improve the beleaguered website tied to the new health care law by offering a new tool that lets users compare health plans in their area without first having to go through the registration process.

The website, HealthCare.gov, handles requests for coverage from more than 30 states that opted not to run their market, or exchange, on their own under the Affordable Care Act.

Early on, users complained that computer glitches were preventing them from even getting to a menu of coverage options. Now, a new page lets them answer a few basic questions and get a look at premiums among plans offered in their states, before signing in and wending their way through the steps for enrollment.

“This isn’t the application for Marketplace coverage,” the page says. “No information you enter here will carry over to your application.

The tool breaks down the plans into the five categories — from the cheapest “bronze” plans to expensive “platinum” plans. However, the tool does not account for any income-based government subsidies the consumers may receive, so actual costs could be lower than they first appear.

The website change can be found at https://www.healthcare.gov/find-premium-estimates/.

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