White House Cuts Health Care Application From 21 Pages To 3

steponeLast month, the Obama administration took a lot of heat when it unveiled a draft application for health insurance that ran some 21 pages in length and included all manner of invasive questions about the applicant’s medical history. Today, the final product was unveiled, and it’s significantly skinnier this time around.

The new, streamlined form only runs 3 pages (plus a page of instructions and an appendix page for people filling out the form with the assistance of someone else) for individual applicants [PDF] and the family application [PDF] runs 7 pages (plus instructions and several appendices for things like employee-sponsored coverage).

“People aren’t going to have the patience to sit there for hours on end,” said the President about the response to the previous draft. “Let’s streamline this thing.”

While the revised application has jettisoned specific questions about medical issues (there is still a yes/no question about any condition that could cause the applicant to be limited in activities like bathing, dressing, daily chores, or require them to live in a medical facility or nursing home), it does ask for financial specifics, such as income, changes in employment, and deductions.

This information is used to determine how much aid an uninsured person will get to help pay for insurance coverage.

“Given the amount of information necessary to determine eligibility, it’s hard to see how the forms could be any shorter,” one former insurance exec tells the AP.

In addition to the paper forms, uninsured people will be able to apply online at HealthCare.gov when the new insurance marketplaces open up later this year.