I want to be clear not to endorse this. And it’s definitely not a replacement for HealthCare.gov. But a few guys out in San Francisco have put together something called thehealthsherpa.com, which really quickly tells you what policies are available in your area, what subsidies you are entitled to based on your income and who to call or what site to go to buy the actual coverage. From what I can tell it seems to be the work not of a commercial entity or even an organization, but just some very public-spirited programmers.
Now, to be clear, this does not replace healthcare.gov. You can’t buy through the site. You can’t prove your income levels through the site. But to the extent people are tripped up are finding out what’s available, what the subsidies are etc. it’s extremely fast.
Again, to be clear, I cannot personally vouch for the data. But a quick perusal suggests they’re accessing the publicly information available and it seems very solid. If you’re having a hard time accessing healthcare.gov I would check it out.
More broadly, I’m hearing of a number of sites coming on line that will actually access the exchange data and allow people to apply for subsidies and purchase through those portals. These sites already seem to be doing that.
[Special Thanks to TPM Reader BL for pointing out these sites that appear to allow you to directly purchase exchange policies.]