WASHINGTON — The Obama administration unveiled a new version of HealthCare.gov on Wednesday, with some improvements as well as at least one early mistake and a new challenge.
Officials also said that HealthCare.gov won’t display premiums for 2015 until the second week of November. Open enrollment season runs Nov. 15 through Feb. 15. Coverage can start as early as Jan. 1.
On the plus side, the health insurance website will feature a streamlined application for most of those signing up for the first time. Seventy-six screens in the online application have been reduced to 16, officials said. The site has been also optimized for mobile devices.
The goof is a mistranslation in large type on the home page of the Spanish-language version of the site. It’s the very first word on the page. Trying to translate “get ready,” someone came up with the wrong word in Spanish.
The Spanish-language site had lots of problems last year, ranging from technology issues to clunky translations that left some native speakers puzzled. The administration struggled to sign up Hispanics, the nation’s largest minority and more likely to be uninsured than other ethnic groups.
This time, the website designers translated “get ready” as preparase. It should have been preparese — with an “e” instead of an “a.” The same mistake appears three times on the Spanish home page, which is supposed to be a mirror-image of HealthCare.gov. Such a prominent error can unintentionally send a message that the site was not designed to professional standards.
HealthCare.gov is the online portal to subsidized private health insurance for consumers who don’t have access to a job-based plan. It served 36 states last open enrollment season, while the remaining states ran their own insurance exchanges. The feds as well as some states experienced crippling technical problems, and officials are vowing things will be different this time.