After last year’s bungled rollout, Maryland’s public healthcare exchange is back for another try. This week, the exchange is in “window shopping” mode, meaning you can browse for plans, but can’t sign up yet. Let’s see how it’s doing so far:
The brand new version of the website where consumers can sign up is modeled after Connecticut’s software, which actually worked. The New York Times noted some of the redoubled efforts (and renewed confidence) in Maryland today:
Maryland officials say they are confident that things will run smoothly because they are relying on a proven model and have tested it extensively. Like several other states, they switched vendors, replaced exchange managers and spent millions of additional dollars to avoid repeating last year’s technical failures.
Along with a new look (see above), the website also has some new bells and whistles. Among the features unfurled this week are “anonymous browsing,” which allows people to check out plans without having to put in any personal info. Last year, they had to create an account just to get in the store.
Just to show that they were super extra ready, officials even launched the early browsing period a day early. Even when it comes to Obamacare, the season just keeps starting earlier and earlier. But the real test begins when people can start signing up on Nov. 19.
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