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Making a difference in how people find health information, today and into the future.

More on how We’re Improving HealthCare.gov

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Over the last few days, we’ve shared updates with you on our tech surge and the steps we’re taking to ensure that HealthCare.gov gets better.  Starting tomorrow and moving forward, we will also provide updates through regular blogs and CMS press telebriefings.  We know how critical affordable health coverage is, and as I’ve committed, we won’t stop improving the site until every American who wants it gains access to these new options for care.

Today, we wanted to share an infographic that provides a snapshot of where we are—including technical issues we’re addressing and solutions that our team is putting into place to improve the consumer experience on HealthCare.gov.  Please take a moment to look and feel free to share the graphic with anyone you know that may have questions about the site in your own social networks.

We are committed to continuing to update you on our progress as we improve the site. As always, your feedback is critical to this process. Please feel free to submit comments about your experience, either complimentary or critical, at https://www.healthcare.gov/connect/

Tech Surge Problems & Solutions Infographic


This post is no longer accepting comments. If you want to learn more about the Affordable Care Act, please visithhs.gov/healthcare. If you have question about or need assistance with health insurance enrollment, please visithttps://www.healthcare.gov/contact-us/.

Join the Conversation


Submitted by Tonya on
A PERSON ONLY HAS ONE OPTION TO APPY, call in and then they cant do the app over the phone, they send you paperwork, that they says will take 4 weeks to get. I might as well wait until the website comes back online
Submitted by patrick on
I read that rural areas are having an especially difficult time so am wondering about American Indian communities?
Submitted by Bonnie on
Sibelius does work for all the people. We are the ones paying her salary!
Submitted by Paul on
We logged into the site on 21 October.. at 9am.. took less than 5 minutes to get in. and establish an account.. There was a problem.. it would not take my home email address. I put in my work email and it took instantly.. I then got in and loaded my profile.. and CHANGED my email address.. All of this took less than 10 and worked just as fast as Facebook, or eBay.. We did not go surfing .. no sense in using up server time .. BUT,, it did work very well and just as FAST as buying on eBay.. or Amazon..
Submitted by Gozo! on
Now we know the main reason for the bottle-neck: a need even for curiosity-seekers to create accounts. But now the site works pretty well. It’s only been three-and-a-half weeks, and my family is already able to shop and compare policies in a way not available to us before. We’ve bought our own policies for more than 30 years. This is the first time we see what we’re getting, we can compare apples to apples—and if we don’t like it, we can revisit next year. New policies don’t even kick in for more than two months, so there’s plenty of time to pick and choose. Thanks to the President and to Secretary Sebelius: WE LOVE OBAMACARE!
Submitted by Vicki Karnes on
I suggest that on the Log In page that you draw more attention to the "Having Trouble Logging In" link. It is possible that consumers will have to perform all three tasks to enable their computer to move beyond the Log In "glitch." Early on, I had gone to the this link, but only did the first task. A week went by before I tried again. After completing all three tasks (cookies, clearing cache, etc.) I had no more problems. Could a diagnostic tool be added so that the consumer has to check to see if their computer is able to log in? Sometimes we see these tools used before a webinar to ensure that the computer will be able to have access to the video, audio, etc. of the webinar.
Submitted by Pete on
Create strategy to allocate access times for various sectors of the population to reduce the load on the system. Break last name starting letter into 7 sections of the alphabet and allocate access for each 7 to a specific day of the week for each group to use the site.
Submitted by KARENIT on
I am in IT Quality Assurance. When changing an application, you should be able to go directly to the page you want to change. I have a dependent and was forced to say I wanted healthcare for him even though he doesn't need it. Many data elements are required to be entered multiple times. Screens need to be consolidated for quick entry. On the dependent screens, there is one question per screen. I got an error when trying to sign my application and couldn't finish it. The browse plan tool option tells you no detailed info on the plans. Take out "was this helpful" questions and anything not necessary. Get the application process quick and clean. Use only senior developers from now on!!!
Submitted by DS1455 on
The solution to issue # 4 needs considerable refinement. Rates vary by individual ages, yet the site requires entry of only two age ranges: 49 and under, or 50 and over. The former returns rates for age 27 but nowhere on the site does it say this. This is incredibly misleading; no information is much better than misinformation at this juncture. I highly recommend loading individual age rates onto the site, or remove the functionality entirely.
Submitted by Barry on
Good point, DS! Also, when you view the plans, ALL YOU SEE is the Company, Plan Name and Price. What about deductibles? Besides the fact that the rates are not correct, if they were correct I would still not have enough information to pick a plan! This is worse than useless! It is a waste of time. Thanks, DHHS!
Submitted by Chris on
Please fix this! I want the health care law to succeed, and it's just vital that the website be improved. I've tried three times to create an account, and each time the system has failed, including this morning (October 24).
Submitted by Joanna Pena-Bickley on
Dear Kathleen Sebelius, We are the leaders of one of the fastest growing networks of digital design and technology specialists. After hearing your press conference yesterday, we want to putt the politics aside and unite to help your administration fix and improve our government's healthcare exchange. In order to do this we need your administrations participation. On Monday, 10/28 we want to brief our network with the the following information: - The number of anticipated visitors - Demographics of potential visitors - The primary objective that https://www.healthcare.gov must meet - Business rules & system requirements - Obstacles that exist today we must overcome We would like a member of your staff to send us this information or participate in the briefing on Monday, 10/28/2014. We will use this information to brief a curated team of experts who will participate in our User Experience Lab via a Google+ Hangout. The outcome will be a blueprint which outlines design and system recommendations that will help millions of American's get affordable healthcare online that will be shared with you on Thursday, November 7, 2013  We believe that a good idea or solution can come from anywhere. We also believe that its is our civic duty to take action to help millions of Americans get the healthcare they need under the Affordable Care Act. I sincerely hope someone from your staff can help or attend our briefing. You can use this URL to send us information or join the event. [Personal information withheld for privacy]
Submitted by Larry Phillips on
I am a physician in Georgia, and tried the site so I could discuss its use with my patients. At the beginning of the month, I established a userid and password fairly easily, and filled out applications for myself and my wife. For three weeks, I could get no further - I tried every few days. Then October 22, everything worked. I could see plans, costs, hospitals covered, and physicians available through the plan. The HealthCare.gov information about me as a physician was entirely correct, but there was a good deal of misinformation at Vitals.com. So overall, everything as far as I can see with HealthCare.gov is now fine, but Vitals.com still has problems. Thank you.
Submitted by Glenda on
The contract should never have been awarded to a Canadian company. We need to start taking care of AMERICA! Were there no American companies that had a better record of success? I would like to know who awarded the contract. That is the person that should be held most responsible. Now after so much money has been spent, more money has to be thrown at the problem to try to fix it. That's what everyone has come to expect from our BROKEN GOVERNMENT.....FAILURE!!!!!!!!!!
Submitted by Joe IT on
Issue #1 -------------- You already had an idea of how many people were uninsured (baseline). You should have prepared for at least that many with the right amount of servers and bandwidth. It should have been set up as a multi-colo site locations, with load balancers distributing the traffic evenly across the country (nearest route). There are plenty of other things you could have done to solve the traffic issue. i.e. lowering the page load cost by shrinking your JS files and content, applying caching, and again regional routing via load balancers. Issue #2 -------------- You should have run estimated query plans prior to launch to see the cost of the queries and optimize them for a high transaction system (i.e. table locks, full scans etc.). Hopefully at the very least you were clustering, which is all fine and good but only after you have analyzed the potential traffic and made the necessary node additions to support it. Issue #3 -------------- Compressed timeframe? Just when did the project start? March 2013? Whose fault was that? You've had 3 years to get the project going. If it wasn't tested, it should not have been launched! Whoever said "publish it" made a huge mistake. Over committed and under delivered. Putting out a website that only half works is worse than saying "hey, we need some more time to test". Instead you let the politics get involved and override the sensible choice of allowing proper testing to occur. Issue #4 -------------- The tool you have created based on consumer feedback is horrible. It's estimations are considerably lower than the actual costs once fully signed up and plan shopping inside. If the tool can't event get close to the right numbers you probably should just shut it off. It says nothing about plans being higher, only that plans might actually be lower than quoted. Issue #5 -------------- Difficult to complete? You mean you haven't even fully completed the application and shopping portion? Why is this site still live!?! Sure you shut it down for a few hours at night/early morning, but I'm sorry you shouldn't even have the site on until it's ready to go. Glad to know that you "analyzing" the problems. Issue #6 --------------- So other fixes are underway. Why should anyone go through the entire process until this at the very least is 100% fixed? Why would anyone want the wrong or duplicate data sent to the insurer? My guess is no one This really doesn't instill trust in the system because after it's submitted there is no indication to the consumer that anything is wrong. Other than the fact that they don't hear back from the insurer or do hear back and the insurer isn't sure what they wanted because the information in their system is incorrect or duped! That's just not good. Why is it that you can't delete your account once you create it?
Submitted by Daniel on
Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Oh, wait. You pimps are spending my money. There is NO SUCH THING AS A TECH SURGE.
Submitted by Jennifer on
Thanks for the update.. The average american only has an 8th grade education and the site is fairly complex - so thank you for providing the call in option so that the most vulnerable can gain access as well.
Submitted by Christine Malloy on
Have you thought about user error in this rollout. In my experience in implementing new systems, user error is a major factor.what is your strategy to address user error. The other potential is sabotage. Very possible by hate groups who want to see system fail. Go offense and stop playing defense
Submitted by Tina on
Just wanted to share that I have very different experiences on the site based on the browser I use. It works okay for the most part on Internet Explorer. It does not work at all on Google Chrome (sign in and see a blank page). The page was a strange array of letters and numbers when I tried to use Firefox. You guys probably already know this. Anyway, thanks for all that you're doing to get it fixed!
Submitted by Boris Kalkona on
Thank you madam Secretary for your efforts
Submitted by Jasmine on
Why should people believe any of this?? HHS is clearly not trustworthy, transparent, or reliable. This is just meaningless nonsense to try to make people feel better and say "we're fixing it! were fixing it!" but we have no idea if anything's actually being fixed. I'm pretty sure it'll take months to fix everything on such a massive website and database system.
Submitted by John on
Nice to have the alternative ways to enroll, but in order to get the Tax Credit, must still go through the Exchange, so don't gain much by the alternative ways.
Submitted by Sarah on
The other ways to enroll count as going through the Exchange.
Submitted by Ruben on
I'm a family physician with a large practice. I consider myself well informed about ACA. It's surprising to me see how most physicians don't understand the ACA. Most of them are informed by the talking points is those opposed to the ACA. I believe you should make a point to educate us since we have access to a huge population and people listen to us. Keep your hard work. I want ACA to be a success!
Submitted by Gary on
There is a QUICK FIX for the website's problems. Put up 4 or 5 copies of California's well-functioning website. This will be quicker and cheaper than anything else you can do. Please forward this to Jeffrey Zients. [Contact informatoin withheld for privacy]