Calling the launch of Healthcare.gov a complete and utter disaster may sound a bit dramatic—but unfortunately, it's also pretty accurate. With only six people able to actually enroll out of the 4.7 million unique visitors the site saw on launch day, something clearly needs to change. And since the government has its hands full with perpetually tripping over itself, three coders from San Francisco did what the feds couldn't by building HealthSherpa.com—a website that actually works.
The healthcare vigilantes, George Kalogeropoulos, Ning Liang, and Michael Wasser, claim not to be affiliated with any sort of lobby, trade group, or government agency. There's no political agenda—just a desire to make good on the government's promise of easily accesible healthcare information. In fact, all the numbers and facts on the site have been pulled from publicly available (and "carefully vetted") data.
Of course, the site is just that—facts. You can't actually use the site to sign up for a plan; instead, it's there to point you directly to whichever insurer you need to go. But Health Sherpa truly is wildly user-friendly. With one main screen, large text, and explicitly outlined directions for each individual plan, you get all the information you need in a format that's accesible to anyone with even the vaguest of computer knowhow.
Currently, Health Sherpa only covers the 34 states under Obamacare, but support for the 16 states with pre-existing marketplace sites should be coming soon—too bad we can't say the same for Healthcare.gov. [Health Sherpa via The Atlantic Wire]