I've been saying for a while that the website is much better, as long as you start with a new account and email address.
But since I don't actually need coverage myself and don't qualify for a subsidy, my exploration is limited.
Yesterday I visited my son and we sat down to enroll...
My son is a fairly typical late twenties kid - underpaid. As such his application would be getting the full treatment.
In a frenzy of typing that I would say took 15 minutes we whizzed through the application with no issues whatsoever. Identify verified with 3 questions. IRS tax credit calculated at $187.
The most difficult part by far was when we finally landed on the coverage page and were prompted to pick from a dizzying array of plans. I'm very familiar with how healthcare works and I have a bias towards Florida Blue Cross so I selected a plan with a net cost of $57 a month. (The only reason it was so high is that my son is an occasional smoker which I of course took the opportunity to berate him about)
After selecting that plan, I got a confusing message that he was eligible for "reduced cost copays" or something like that, so I put the application aside for further study.
When I logged in today I read further, and it turns out you can only get that benefit for silver plans, so I selected a slightly more expensive $65 a month plan which came with the $5 copays.
And then I clicked "enroll". I was immediately informed it was done and I'd get an email in a couple days with payment instructions.
Based on this experience, I'd have to say the website works a lot better than everybody is saying, at least for a brand new application started yesterday - not a month ago when it was completely broken. I currently pay about $140 a month for my son's junk policy which was basically just catastrophic coverage (Contrary to the national uproar he did not receive a cancellation letter) so this new coverage is a wonderful benefit. Signup was MUCH easier than the last time I signed him up for insurance, which involved sending a 25 page fax to Humana. I wish people would put the website in perspective to the horrors of the previous system - which often took months to obtain coverage and many hours on the phone - if you could even get coverage at all.