Which one is easier to use? The answer to this is clear: Amazon. Of course, health insurance is a much more difficult product for people to understand than most good at Amazon. However, many policymakers may have underestimated the amount of customer service new enrollees in Healthcare.gov need. The Washington Post reports:
Just 13 percent of assistance programs said they spent, on average, less than an hour with each person they helped. Most spent between 1-2 hours, but some averaged much higher.
President Obama clearly oversold how easy it would be to purchase insurance.
Just before HealthCare.gov’s awful launch in the fall, President Obama said Americans would be able to go online to shop for health insurance the “same way you’d shop for a plane ticket on Kayak or a TV on Amazon.” That, of course, was a sales pitch to get people to look at the enrollment Web site (before we knew how bad it’d be at the start). But today’s polling data and similar polls in recent months show that just isn’t the case — and the law’s implementers need to plan appropriately for that.