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HealthCare.gov: Improving the Account Registration Process

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

We continue to improve the overall user experience each week on HealthCare.gov, so that by the end of November the site will be functioning smoothly for the vast majority of users. 

As you know, one of the places we’ve seen a lot of consumer frustration is in their ability to successfully create an account.  This issue was identified on October 1 and we’ve made significant progress since then to deliver a much smoother process for consumers. 

In combination, the following fixes are allowing users to successfully create an account and be able to continue through the application process.  We can now process nearly 17,000 account registrants per hour – or five per second – with an error rate near zero:

  • We replaced the virtual database with a high-capacity physical one, which allowed more efficient, effective processing and significantly reduced the error rates, or account registration failures;
  • We’ve optimized software configurations to increase efficiency in system interactions;
  • We added capacity by doubling the number of servers;
  • We swapped out a directory component for another that can process more transactions simultaneously;
  • We improved the efficiency of database look-ups through software changes;
  • And we pushed through a patch release with four software fixes to address users that were having a hard time logging in to their accounts. 

We are moving through the rest of our punch list to make more performance and functionality improvements as our work to improve HealthCare.gov continues.

Thanks to these fixes, people across the nation are shopping for and signing up for coverage. Deborah L., a New Hampshire native, enrolled online for a plan that “will save us hundreds of dollars each month. It has better coverage, lower deductibles, and lower copays.”  She says she “couldn’t be happier.”

To hear Deborah’s story visit: http://www.hhs.gov/healthcare/facts/blog/2013/10/affordable-coverage-deborah.html


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 Kathy on
I have tried to summit a application since Oct.1 have made it to the part to identify myself I have sent in the required papers downloaded the required papers and still show in progress and i need to identify myself. I have called no one can tell me anything and we will have someone call you with in 48 hours and guess what i am still waiting on the call a month later
Submitted by cheryl on
what happened to my personal information and social security number when I filled an application over the phone with a represenitive doing the typing into the computer on her end? I have called the phone # on the website several times and am told they do not see an application for me and said they would mail me one twice now and still haven't gotten it.
Submitted by Nick on
On October 9 I finally got my Application completed, but on October 11 I got stuck in Enrollment in the optional dental coverage choice, with no way out. The final step "Review and confirm your coverage" remained locked. Finally I found a way out by resetting the selected health plan and the subsidy amount, and could continue to confirmation and the payment screen for the first payment. 2 problems: it was impossible to make the payment (screen said "Failed to create account") and the insurer never received my enrollment information (numerous calls made), Never received any confirmation or anything by email. My status in the website is "Initial enrollment". After countless calls to the call center, no representative has been of any help. Two times I was told that my case was added to the escalation list and that I would be called within 2 business days. Two times I have not been called in those 2 business days. Does anyone care? Where do I go now?
Submitted by Dave on
agree, there is no way to may a premimum payment.
Submitted by Lynn Yancosky on
Tried to get on the site several times today (as well as yesterday and the day before). I had better luck with getting into the PA state exchange back in late March. So why didn't I get my "affordable health care" at that time, you may ask. First of all, I discovered that as of March 1, 2013, which was a week before I had investigated the site, no more applications were being taken for anyone with a pre-existing condition; in other words, people like ME. Apparently at that time, the federal exchange system was also cutting off applications from people with pre-existing conditions. Pressing on in spite of this disconcerting information, I was able to access a list of carriers with various plans at a number of price levels. I could get no further answers on the website itself, but for the next 4 weeks I was inundated with calls from insurance brokers who proceeded to "help" me find an appropriate program at a price I could "afford". All were very quick to sign me up with no details on what each plan offered, doctors and hospitals in the system, and so on. Even though I asked them all to email me these details, they did not do so and I was on my own to find some of these obscure plans. A couple of them (at $230 to $280/month) had a 2, count 'em, 2 PCPs located an hour south of me, and a very SHORT list of hospitals within their network. The deductibles were approximately $5000...at that point I stopped reading. I still was unclear as to whether these plans would actually take me with my pre-existing condition. Anyway, the price was too high. My last COBRA payments at the end of my unemployment compensation 4 years ago were $380, which I had to put on a credit card. Since it looked like the system would leave me out in the cold, I figured by this time perhaps I would have more options and decided to give it another try with the new federal rollout. How naive... To those of you who say "Be patient," "These website flaws (oh, sorry, glitches) will take time to get ironed out." Yes, well, if the website had been properly tested for at least six months before being let loose, things would have gone smoother. But this company has a history of incompetence: the Canadian government finally fired them after they had mucked up their federal gun registry and diabetes medical websites after several million dollars had gone down the tubes. Why was this company given the no-bid contract when its track record was so abysmal? Did it have something to do with the fact that a senior VP at its US subsidiary was a classmate of First Lady Obama? Oh yes, then once the contract was secured, there was a generous contribution to the Obama war chest, not the first time that a corporation has financially supported the administration and its campaign fund. "Things that make you go, 'Hmmmmm'.
Submitted by Martha on
You need to make a bigger fuss about subsidies based on low income. The information is buried and it's only after you "find" the Kaiser Estimator that you see an explanation that tells a bit about it. YOU NEED HUGE LETTERS AND A HEADLINE AND A PAGE ALL TO ITSELF IF YOU WANT TO ATTRACT YOUNG PEOPLE - ESPECIALLLY THOSE WHO NEED ADVANCED SUBSIDY TO SIGN UP...THANK YOU
Submitted by Bob on
My wife's application has been complete for nearly 2 weeks but she can't check her eligibility results so she can proceed to enrollment. All she gets is a blank page after clicking on view eligibility results. Nothing has improved since 10-19.
Submitted by Harold on
Enrollment system down now for over 24 hours. Do those who "registered" by phone know anymore about coverage options than they did before they SUCCESSFULLY registered?
Submitted by Andy on
This sucks
Submitted by Jim on
Baloney! Anecdotes of one success. What crap!
Submitted by Robert on
My insurance next year will double in cost, after several tries I was finally able to go through the market place only to find out I don't make enough to get health credits and should instead get medicare but we don't qualify for medicare either. talk about unafordable.
Submitted by Brian on
My account has been in "verification pending" status since web site was first available. This is horrible. I have no confidence that the government can resolve these issues.
Submitted by David on
I have been attempting to complete an application since 10/1. I have still yet to do so. As for the live assistance in the call center...it's a crap shoot. You may get someone who can listen to your question and try to answer without following a script, or you may get someone who tells you that Experian is part of the IRS and you can call the IRS and ask to be transferred to Experian to verify your identity.
Submitted by 25 Years in Software Development on
Chasing a problem with hardware is usually a red flag. CA Spent 1.5 Billion (initially advertised as a 500 million system) on an integrated criminal justice system before pulling the plug - the last act was to throw more and more "physical servers" at the problem - I think we were at 127 servers before common sense took over... You google and read about it... CA CJIS System goes down in flames....
Submitted by Julianne on
I don't want to see any more stories like the one about Deborah L. because it is obviously self-serving tripe and an affront to our sensibilities. Don't brag about how good it is going because truthfully your performance is pathetic.
Submitted by Julianne on
Please make it possible to delete dependents. I accidentally added my son twice as a dependent and there is no way that I can delete him. Even the chat person couldn't help me. I live in Texas.
Submitted by brian on
Virtual machines running this a site of this scale and criticality!?!? Yowsa!!! Hope you have new architects now (sounds like it since you've switched to physical boxes - in IT too... Indexes, indexes...
Submitted by David on
Why, why, why is it not clear on the website home page how I can see SPECIFIC rates and plans? When I click on "See Plans Now", it tells me that rates do not include discounts for family income, etc. So, I need to create and account to see the specific rates? And if I create and account, am I not enrolling? Will my current insurance company cancel me? Why is this information not clear?
Submitted by AC` on
Happy that you have placed looking for plans in-front of the firewall. A few suggestions for further fixes (hoping they are already on the list); 1. Having a person able to see the subsidy they could be eligible for from the pricing list in front of the firewall. You are already asking most of the basic questions. The state marketplace sites have this feature (I like Oregon's and California's sites the best) 2. Have your servers set up by region (4 to 5 would work) and quadruple or quintuple the number or servers and "nodes" available to access the website. Don't wait until February or March when there will be a crush. 3. Get the interfaces to ehealth.com and ehealthinsurance.com working so you have additional capacity for folks to buy insurance. The goal is for people to have insurance, if they get it from healthcare.gov or one of the partner sites should not matter as long as they get it.
Submitted by Anonymous on
we here in Arizona are still having problems logging into the first page.it wont even let us see what the packages are to chose from and if we even qualify .
Submitted by Hugh on
I have applied but the insurance numbers they gave me I can not afford I make 12,984 a year and they want me to pay 577.00 a month which is over 6,000 a year something is wrong here and no one can answer my questions does any one else have this issue or can help me.
Submitted by Doug on
Hilarious. The posting on Saturday October 26th was "Every day, we’re using the Data Services Hub – a secure and efficient tool – to help you and your family get affordable, quality health care." And then of course the Data Services Hub was down on Sunday and again on Tuesday. All of these feel good pronouncements read like something from the Dilbert comic strip.
Submitted by John on
I'm in Kansas, not Oz. I get a message telling me the site is down; experiencing difficulties. That's an understatement. Hire the folks at Google to fix your issues, they have some new "offshore" data centers that should handle just about anything. Even the Federal Government's sideshow.
Submitted by Alexander on
The Healthcare.gov site is functioning smoothly as of October 30, 2013. Every week, the overall user experience on Healthcare.gov has improved. Significant progress has been made since October 1 on consumers' ability to successfully create an account. I couldn't be happier with the plan that I am going to enroll for online.
Submitted by Dimitrios on
I have been stucked since October 4 in the identity verification...even though I called Experian and was told everything is good and 2 days later I uploaded my driver license. When I log in,it tells me "verification pending"...any thoughts?