This week the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) introduced Healthcare.gov, a consumer information website mandated by the Affordable Care Act (aka the health reform bill). A video of the introduction meeting is here.

The site is fabulous; HHS Chief Technical Officer rightly says that the best praise they’ve gotten is that it doesn’t look like a government website. No KIDDING –

As someone who’s worked in web design, I can say this is a top-notch consumer experience, well thought out and well implemented. It will help you explore the health insurance options available for your situation in your state.They’ve thought out user types, scenarios, and pathways, and in the best-practice spirit of continuous improvement, the site frequently lets you click on whether you like each page.

And, incredibly, the whole thing was put together in 90 days. Ninety days!

I’ll be trying it, because my own little bootstrapping business (epatientdave.com) is in a transition period – I’m currently on COBRA and will be considering whether to incorporate in Massachusetts or New Hampshire. We’ll see how my info search goes. Update: see comments – I began my search.)

To me it looks like this site is big news. As Todd says in the intro video, the transparency of choices will surely (I think) lead insurers to offer simpler, clearer projects, because that’s what people like.

And I love the idea of healthcare becoming more consumer-centered. Both the medical aspect and the money aspect. Because patient empowerment means patients are empowered to get what they want. And that’s much easier when you can clearly see what your options are.

Tell friends.

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