Goodbye, HealthCare.gov lady. We barely knew you.

October 27, 2013

The somewhat iconic face of HealthCare.gov, recently seen panicking over the health law's rocky roll out, has gotten the boot.

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She is no longer, as of this weekend, the face of the health law's Web site. In her place are four bright logos, each representing a different way to apply for insurance coverage: Online, over the phone, with a paper application and in person. 

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The cheery couple on the next page also appears to have made a fast exit as well, replaced by some less functional circles, representing individuals and families.

As Alex Howard points out, this makes better use of the Web site's hottest real estate, putting the different ways to shop front and center. Whether these will be easier ways of purchasing coverage remains to be seen. The in-person navigators, linked to in the dark blue circle above, use the same Web site as the rest of the shoppers. Any problems that consumers going it alone run into don't disappear when an in-person assistant shows up.

As for the HealthCare.gov lady, she's been a small object of media fascination, mostly because no one has been able to track the woman down. This is not for a lack of effort: A number of reporters have made it known they would like to get in touch with the model. Some thought they might have found her on a modeling agency Web site (the boss there said it wasn't the same person); PRI's Todd Zwillich had a near-sighting on the New York Times Web site.

CNN ran an entire segment about the mystery. This actually happened!

Health and Human Services does not plan to release her information. Spokesman Richard Olague told Buzzfeed, “The woman featured on the website signed a release for us to use the photo, but to protect her privacy, we will not share her personal or contact info with anyone.”

After 26 days as the face of HealthCare.gov, she appears to have moved on to other endeavors. At least she hung around long enough to provide some Halloween costume information.

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Neil Irwin · October 27, 2013