U.S. Flag

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

Doing Better: Making Improvements to HealthCare.gov

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Over the past two and a half weeks, millions of Americans visited HealthCare.gov to look at their new health care options under the Affordable Care Act. In that time, nearly half a million applications for coverage have been submitted from across the nation. This tremendous interest – with over 19 million unique visits to date to HealthCare.gov– confirms that the American people are looking for quality, affordable health coverage, and want to find it online.

Unfortunately, the experience on HealthCare.gov has been frustrating for many Americans.  Some have had trouble creating accounts and logging in to the site, while others have received confusing error messages, or had to wait for slow page loads or forms that failed to respond in a timely fashion. The initial consumer experience of HealthCare.gov has not lived up to the expectations of the American people. We are committed to doing better. 

Aside from the difficulties since launching the site, there are parts of the overall system that have proved up to the task.  The “Data Hub,” component, which provides HealthCare.gov with information that aids in determining eligibility for qualified health plans, is working.  Individuals have been able to verify their eligibility for credits, enabling them to shop for and enroll in low or even no-cost health plans.


Since launch, when we first recognized these issues, we have been working around the clock to make improvements.  We have updated the site several times with new code that includes bug fixes that have greatly improved the HealthCare.gov experience. The initial wave of interest stressed the account service, resulting in many consumers experiencing trouble signing up, while those that were able to sign up sometimes had problems logging in.

In response, we have made a number of improvements to the account service.  Initially, we implemented a virtual “waiting room,” but many found this experience to be confusing.  We continued to add more capacity in order to meet demand and execute software fixes to address the sign up and log in issues, stabilizing those parts of the service and allowing us to remove the virtual “waiting room.”  Today, more and more individuals are successfully creating accounts, logging in, and moving on to apply for coverage and shop for plans.  We're proud of these quick improvements, but we know there's still more work to be done. We will continue to conduct regular maintenance nearly every night to improve the experience.


To ensure that we make swift progress, and that the consumer experience continues to improve, our team has called in additional help to solve some of the more complex technical issues we are encountering.

Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve HealthCare.gov.  We're also putting in place tools and processes to aggressively monitor and identify parts of HealthCare.gov where individuals are encountering errors or having difficulty using the site, so we can prioritize and fix them.  We are also defining new test processes to prevent new issues from cropping up as we improve the overall service and deploying fixes to the site during off-peak hours on a regular basis.

Most importantly, we want to hear from you, and make sure that your experience with HealthCare.gov is a positive one.  If you have any comments, either complimentary or critical, please let us know by sharing your feedback at https://www.healthcare.gov/connect/.  We've already heard so many stories of individuals getting health insurance for the first time, and we are dedicated to making that possible for all Americans.


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 Ben on
I have tried a hundred times to get into this stupid website and can't make it through. Why don't you stop the madness and delay the mandate?
Submitted by Obama on
Will Obama use his own "Health Care Coverage"?? just wondering
Submitted by Rob on
I can't get anywhere on the system at all. Am I going to jail???
Submitted by Sid on
The system is down at the moment. We are experiencing technical difficulties and hope to have them resolved soon. Please try again later. In a hurry? You might be able to apply faster at our Marketplace call center. Call 1-800-318-2596 to talk with one of our trained representatives about applying over the phone.
Submitted by schealthconnector on
I am having trouble accessing healthcare.gov via Chrome. Is the site compatible with webkit based browsers?
Submitted by Alicia on
This site is an embarrassment to this country. Big government is not the solution to the problem of health care.
Submitted by Ekny Fils aime on
I will like to apply for obamacare online
Submitted by Tom on
I have created an account, completed and submitted the application and received the eligibility results . I have selected a plan, I am in the process of completing the 5 enrollment steps of the Enroll To-Do List. The first three steps, set the premium tax credit usage, answer the questions about your household, select a health insurance plan are completed. However the enrollment procedure will not permit me to move past step 4 set up your dental plan preferences. After I answer all the questions in step 4 the dialog box says please wait and then loops me back to the resume enrollment screen and starts at the beginning of step 4. This cycle just keeps repeating over and over. The last 2 steps in the Enroll To-Do-List have been non-functional for over 2 weeks. I hope the re-doo fixes this issue too.
Submitted by Alfonso on
Same problem here. I've gotten past it twice but then after hitting the final button it kicks me back to step 4.
Submitted by Jerry on
I have tried over 20 times to register. Hope it starts working soon.
Submitted by Carlo on
I just can't wait to sign for it... Thanks President Obama!
Submitted by Mike Collins on
Your explanations are not technical. I read the answers above and I still have no idea what happened. If my car was in for service, it's like telling me your car won;t start, with no other details, but want my trust at the same time. Tell me what really happened with technical details and then I will trust you. Why not publish some pdfs with some sample plan rates so people can get some idea. Or just some rate tables with some common income ranges, and health situations for singles and families.. Is the National Park service running this website. They are good at making the people feel the pain.
Submitted by Dave on
It just doesn't work, you can't see prices up front. Push back the mandate a year and fix it.
Submitted by DS on
After almost daily unsuccessful attempts, I have since passed the end of open enrollment for my employer-provided insurance, so I had to enroll without the chance to price compare or enroll with the marketplace plans. So for me the marketplace has failed to deliver by my due date. What most worries me is the Feb 15 deadline when the penalties for no coverage lock in. Why should you penalize someone who has made many honest attempts to comply with the law but is unable due to the ineptitude of the marketplace? If this happens, I feel that the penalty portion of the law should and will be challenged and struck down in court. I encourage those having issues enrolling to document all unsuccessful good-faith attempts to comply with the Feb 15 deadline.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Who is Mollom and why is this on their privacy page: "We are bound by the strict rules of Belgian and European data protection legislation, which prevents us from making unlawful use of your personal data." So the campaign bus AND the Olympic uniforms AND this site are outsourced overseas? My real question was, how much money will it save us if my husband and I get divorced vs. stay married, and why do unmarried couples have to pay less than married couples.
Submitted by DS on
From my experience, you are not yet doing better. I have tried multiple times since the beginning just to see the plans & have received a whole variety of various bugs & odd error messages. What I see today after hitting Apply: "The system is down at the moment. We are experiencing technical difficulties and hope to have them resolved soon. Please try again later." Suggestion: Do scheduled outages only overnight, not in the middle of the day & certainly not on weekends when people have free time to enroll. if there is an outage, tell me so on the front page of the site and tell me the expected end time. That is what responsible organizations like my bank do to save me precious time when they have scheduled & unscheduled outages.
Submitted by Rick on
I too have been having the same type of problem for a month now.
Submitted by Julie on
For some reason, you can't verify my identity. Experian identified me and sent it to you, yet you still can't verify my identity. I was then told to send a copy of my driver's license to Kentucky; that was done the second week of October; you still can't verify my identity. The third week of Oct. I was told to upload a photo of my driver's license; I did that, and you still can't verify my identity. What on earth do I do now?!!?!? I need to get the insurance, as I qualify for a hefty subsidy. Help, help, help!!!!!!!!!!
Submitted by Susan on
I really really hope you haven't allowed your identity to be stolen. I wouldn't send anyone a copy of my driver's license (or birth certificate or ss card) - I went thru hell fighting ID theft of my 94-year-old father. He has since died and they are still trying to open charge accounts using his info. Be very careful!
Submitted by DS on
MAKE AN EASY BUG SUBMISSION PROCESS!!!!! Otherwise, how are you hearing about issues?
Submitted by vickie on
I started the application process via phone. I did sense the operator was not sure of themselves.I am waiting to continue by applying through the mail. I need insurance by Jan1, 2014, I just received a termination of my current insurance. Right now I have no confidence in the whole process!
Submitted by Michael on
I do not think we should have to have health care I do not have It im healthy if I got to the point where I needed to go to the hospital Cash money please
Submitted by Donald on
Not impressed to roll out a plan that isn't functional. As taxpayers the company that is paid for development should have to return monies and find a competent company. I am all for coverage for people but this is a joke
Submitted by dan on
Have been trying to get on the website all day to log. In and apply. System has been down all day. Someone should be fired for gross incompetence!
Submitted by Cristine on
Keep up the good work!