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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 FRUSTRATED on
I have called over three weeks ago to get a paper application sent to me. Ugh I called they seen that I called for one.....but here now its been this long an no application! Are you kidding me! Tried the online application and that was not happening! Here I thought I would get this in the mail quicker and I guess not!
Submitted by Anon on
Is this thing designed to do anything more than collect our personal information? Because the other things should not be that hard given eBay, etc.
Submitted by mary on
yes they say it is based on 2013 numbers, not 2012 and it will be checked on in April. But then again later they are saying it being verified now and that would be 2012. So I agree it is confusing and what is it?
Submitted by Laura on
Just tried to log in and got a web page that said the site was down. Frustrating! I even thought if I waited a few weeks that the bugs would be worked out, but guess not. Don't like this being forced down my throat and then not being able to get on the website.
Submitted by James on
Can no longer log in . Got into application process and thought it was complete.could not get the subsidy and got an error message saying there were discrepancies and to call the 800 number. The cs rep was no help at all. I assume I have not applied and don't know whether I will have to start over if I ever can log in again. With one exception,the cs reps are incompetent and have been no help .they could not answer simple questions. I very frustrated. because of the aca my coverage will stop on 12-31 so I need coverage in 1-1.help please!
Submitted by Ron on
It looks my insurance is going up approx. $200/mth. I am currently paying $470 month and based on my conversation Blue Cross Blue Shield my new plan will go up $200. I,of course, can't afford that so I will have no choice but to not get insurance and just pay the penalty each year. This is the opposite of what I expected from the affordable care act.
Submitted by Will on
Took me 17 days to set up an account. Had to change user name, password and email address and set up a new "unique" account when my first log-in info stopped working. Consulted a Navigator who assured me we are qualified for purchasing thru the website and for tax credits. I was highly motivated because one half my income goes to pay the monthly premium on our current "grandfathered" plan. Got through the whole application in about an hour and submitted it. Got an "Eligibility Notice" that says I am qualified for tax credits and that my wife is not qualified to even purchase insurance thru the website! Called the 800 number for help and she said to write them a letter. So, now we are forced into a paper chase of filing a paper appeal and snail mailing it to Kentucky. Doubt we will ever hear back from them. My advice- DO NOT SUBMIT AN APPLICATION THROUGH ANY MEANS UNTIL THIS WEBSITE IS FIXED. All applications eventually have to go thru this website and you may get caught by some "glitch" like we did and placed into a paper chase.
Submitted by Gretel Francis on
I hope one day ill be able to get in to signe up for health care. I am 55 and self employed. Have not being to doctor for any test in 10 yrs because of not having insurance. I tries signe up but it said the system is down.ill keep on trying. hopefull ill get in.
Submitted by Tommy on
It tells me the system is down. Definitely a government website.
Submitted by Jim on
It seems like they need a "delete everything I have entered and start over button", When i try to fix what i have entered(which only needs to be fixed because it doesn't seem to save/update my answers after a save for later) I can't and it wont let me enter more than one application and you can't start over...your in wait cycle at this point and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
Submitted by Mr. Drudge on
REALLY, 19 million web hits ovr the past 3 WEEKS, LOL DRUDGEREPORT.COM gets over 19 million hits a DAY and they rarely have any problems, as a matter of fact I cannot remember the last time they were down. Maybe they (DRUDGEREPORT.COM) should be running the HEALTHCARE.GOV sitr, just a thought VISITS TO DRUDGE 10/27/13 021,520,043 PAST 24 HOURS 918,692,060 PAST 31 DAYS 11,364,447,697 PAST YEAR
Submitted by Anonymous on
"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." Concluding that every visit to this website was made by a person looking for health coverage requires a significant logical leap. This visit expressly was not made for that purpose.
Submitted by swanda lewis on
Dental, vision and life
Submitted by Chris Davis on
Fix it! Millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted! Fix it NOW!
Submitted by Eric on
I am 50 years old - on disability because of leukemia - I receive $1,519.00 a mo. for this - have been told over and over by insurers they do not accept an individual on disability. What's with this???? I am currently on Medicaid - which runs out October 31 - told by them I get too much money a month to stay on Medicaid- I have prescriptions-dr. appointments - chemo etc. - with all this how am I suppose to survive?????
Submitted by Kort on
Cannot browse actual plans because age is never requested for browsing. Thus estimates CANNOT be correct unless EVERYONE pays the same premium...untrue! Deceptive advertising which would be illegal in private business!
Submitted by Dalon on
Is there anyway you can make it possible to edit/delete a household member without having to completely start from scratch with the entire household? The same can be said for the income as well. Also, it be nice to make it possible to be able to switch who is the head of the household as well without it being tied to only one person. I wanted to experiment to see if I could add my mother-in-law (who lives with me) to my insurance but it wouldn't let me since I was the head of the household. I had to create an entirely different account to make my wife the head of the household so I can add her mother. Also, it be nice to be able to add in-laws to my plan assuming that the in-laws actually live in the same household.
Submitted by Robert on
If this is honestly the best you can do, please do me and many others a favor and just shut it down. I'm so tired of just trying to register that it's making me sick! But I can't get sick without healthcare ,can I?Boy, what a joke! It's a joke that's not very funny at all!
Submitted by RMR on
This is the most terrible, disgusting website I've ever tried to get on! How something this big and so important could get so screwed up is way beyond me. Sadly, I suppose time will tell if the republicans were right. This site is like gas for the fire for the tea party. Hopefully, there's a solution to put the fire out before the whole ACA burns up. A lot of good people are starting to lose hope about this operation. Either get it fixed or shut it down!!
Submitted by Tina on
Why is it I was able to create an account then try to log in and it says invalid information?So,then I try to reset password and enter all security questions correctly and it still pops up error there is no marketplace profile matching your criteria in an orange box then under says you entered all security questions incorrectly when I know I did not answer them wrong! Why is this happening?It's making it pointless to keep trying to get in the system when this is what keeps happening!I call the number does no good. I did an application by phone and it's sitting there and I don't even know what the heck my family and I qualify for because I have not received anything via email or via us mail! Where do I get insurance other than this website if I don't even have what I qualify for like tax credits etc?Some one please help!
Submitted by Karen Byrne on
I have tried to apply by online...2 weeks still waiting for verify identity after finally uploading documents...called to apply by phone after 1 hour on phone system still wouldn't give me my plan options... Then mailed application along with all necessary documents.... Still no insurance still no reason why I can't purchase the plan I already know I want!! I tried all 3 of the methods to get insurance with no luck at all with any of them now what??? It's been almost a month and still no improvements or any way for me to purchase a plan I already know I want!!! You have all my necessary information why is there a hold up???? You can put a man on the moon but can't figure out how to let people purchase insurance online when you had two years to prepare for this!!!!
Submitted by Chris on
I found the website fairly easy, but I actually filled out the application wrong ( I was going to fast and answered a question no instead of yes) and am waiting for them to amend it. I called and they said a specialist would call me who did. They said in a week they would call me back so I could change my original application. I think the site is very user friendly and any adult with little education could figure out what to do. I am hoping the Government can solve all the problems and the people who need help finally can get signed up. We have to hope for the best, and know eventually it will all get straighten out. I am only disappointed in the price as we will not qualify for anything, but I have a pre-existing condition so I am thankful I can now get insurance.
Submitted by Randy Belhman on
I am the president of our local Chicago small business consortium. Blue Cross is cancelling all of the individual health policies in this state in just a little over 60 days from now. They are sending us options to stay with the company, but only if we are willing to pay 40% to 110% more per month in premiums. Blue Cross Illinois says that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is the reason, because among other things, all health insurance must now have full maternity benefits, regardless of the age and sex of the policyholder. Is this true? I'm 61, had a vasectomy, and my wife is 60. We don't need maternity coverage and certainly do not want to pay for it! Also, the lame brain that designed the Premium Subsidy calculation should be fired and shipped over to a socialist country. It incentivizes people to earn LESS money, in order to get more help with paying these insanely high 2014 health insurance premiums! The President understands that there must be a certain minimum ratio of healthy vs sickly people enrolling in the Marketplaces in order to keep the program viable. However, our teams are reporting that almost no healthy people are enrolling in the Exchange. Those with medical needs are overcoming the healthcare.gov obstacles and enrolling in health plans. Also, due to expanded Medicaid in this state, a very large number of people going through the Exchange end up with Medicaid, instead of a Private plan. This trend portends big trouble for ObamaCare and for those going to Medicaid, because the number of doctors that accept Medicaid patients is small, and growing ever smaller by the month. I hope our government has a Plan-B backup. You're going to need it! R.Belhman (Chicago)
Submitted by Margaret on
I have finished the application process. I live in Arizona and am using the federal marketplace. However, I have not been able to see the details of the plans to decide what one to take and to actually sign up for it. I can see that the plans are cheaper than the Az State Retirement Systems plans but it is frustrating not to be able to view the plans and browse to shop for them. When will this problem be fixed. The help line and H & R Block couldn't help me because they can't access them either.
Submitted by bob on
Just what we want, obamacare being shoved down our throats via a terrible website!