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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 Devayron Jones on
Obamacare is da bomb!
Submitted by Nancy on
Look at all the questions on this page. Is anyone getting any answers?
Submitted by Robert Rogoff on
ive contacted the insurance company and they have no record of my application...what should i do at this point....robert rogoff
Submitted by Ember on
Tried at least a dozen times for at least 30 minutes each time. Four of these times I got all the way through the application only to be told my completed application would have to be saved and tried again later. Then hen I tried again, I had to fill at least 2/3 of it in again. Slowly...... now I can't even retrieve it! It shows me a link to my completed application and then NOTHING happens when I click on the link!!! I am an ACA fan but really....
Submitted by David Morse on
"...enabling them to shop for and enroll in low or even no-cost health plans." Who is paying for all of this?? oh...That's right...
Submitted by Katy on
This is my first time on the website. I was able to go to each item with ease, no problems. While I currently have an employer based health plan, I am doing research for supplemental insurance and dental insurance for when I move to retirement in the next year or two. I am trying to get some of my uninsured older friends to get signed up before year end. They think they are healthy now and don't need to spend the money BUT I am working on them because the Affordable Health Care Act offers the preventive care/check up options which is the key to a healthier and cost efficient society. Thank you to our President and all who continue to work toward a common goal.
Submitted by Debbie on
Train wreck!!!!!
Submitted by johnculpepper on
Im having problems with the security questions it telling me that I need to be more distinct with my answers. Its a simple question come on. Really!
Submitted by KHickman123 on
According to this article from the Washington Post Blog: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/22/the-lessons-of-healthcare-gov-stretch-far-beyond-obamacare/ , the failure rate for IT is 96%. With this being the case, there is no surprise that HealthCare.Gov is not working the way it should. I am glad that some of the glitches are getting better, but we need to make sure that everything is fixed. The government needs to bring in outside contractors that have the best quality work experience and fix these issues. The uninsured population will not be ale to gain healthcare if this is not fixed.
Submitted by Lenny on
Instead of telling people that you're having problems and you have people working around the clock on them why don't you tell us what the problems are and when each of these problems are going to be fixed. It would give us some confidence that you know what the problems are and we can also stop wasting our time trying to create an account until you have for the problem fixed.
Submitted by Richard on
Make sure this site is sufficiently tested and working properly before releasing it to the public. Way, way too many bugs on this site and it is NOT user-friendly. Some common functionality that should be available is to correctly edit the family information or to delete dependent(s). The site created another entry for my son and I am NOT able to delete the extra one. Another option that should be available is to completely delete an application in progress and start over. That again does not appear to be available. Somebody needs to be held accountable...in this case the head of HHS along with the POTUS. Using an excuse that you were not informed of the problem or not aware of the severity of the problem show true lack of leadership. A true leader will accept responsibility for the mistakes of his subordinates, but will ensure that they will be addressed and steps taken to minimize or prevent future similar mistakes.
Submitted by edward on
the New York web site is not working My family needs the health care please help
Submitted by Joanna on
I have been signed up with an account since July. As of today I still cannot get to my account and proceed.
Submitted by kathy on
my account has been hosed up for over 2 weeks. I log in and get the message enrollment incomplete and i select resume enrollment and get a link that takes me to application details and that link says application complete. I do have my eligibility results and my application is complete from an email but cannot view them online. That is where my account gets hosed up. I go in one great big circle. I cannot get to the plans.
Submitted by Patrick on
I have finally got my account down to the final "Review and confirm your coverage" part. It will progress no further. Is this going to fixed? I wonder if anyone from my state has been able to finish enrollment?
Submitted by KEC on
I'm in Georgia and have also gotten to the end where you finish/confirm your selections/enrollment. Once 'confirming', the page does not refresh to another screen, just remains static. Then if you logoff and then log back in and work your way back to that screen, that last 'confirm' task (which was originally at a 'set' condition) is now 'locked'. Also on that page is a red banner that indicates that my application details need to be reviewed, you go to review and it indicates application has been accepted and eligibility results verified. IM and call center no help at all.
Submitted by Bobby Joe on
This is cheese-sticks!!!!!
Submitted by Harry on
If this is the best they can do WE ARE IN REAL, REAL TROUBLE. GOD PLEASE HELP US ALL
Submitted by Jerry on
A joke ,Total joke. At this point I'm done trying to apply. Probably better without HC and just pay the fine. If the fining system is no better than the applying system I have nothing to worry about!!
Submitted by Patty on
Put this system out of its misery. Let it die in pain.Whoever designed this outrage should not be paid but fined for not fullfilling a contract on time or as promised!!!
Submitted by Rob on
Just shut this system down! Start over it can't be fixed! Quit delaying the obvious it CANNOT BE FIXED!!!!
Submitted by Rob on
This system JUST DOESN'T WORK. Admit it. I'm plain sick and tired just trying to register. I just find it hard to believe in this day and age a poor system like this could be put out to represent the U.S. government and our Great President. He gets the ACA through congress and designers can't even get a web site to work so people can register. SHAME, SHAME,SHAME, they shouldn't be paid for putting out such a bad, next to worthless, product!!
Submitted by mike. 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." uuuuuh...or maybe the fact that they will be penalized (fined) for not participating,regardless of ability to pay is why it's so "popular". show a single shred of evidence any of this "affordable". there is a reason the same democrats that pushed this thru,want to be exempted from it,and are doing so.
Submitted by David on
It grates on me to hear major breakdowns in healthcare.gov trivialized as 'glitches'. I've found a problem that is down to actual glitch level. I'm in the marketplace reviewing plans for Ohio and all the provider directory links for the Blue Cross (Anthem) plans are broken. They work for the other plans, but the database that holds those links has a bad entry or entries (I don't know how the database is structured). It the site had allowed anonymous browsing, perhaps someone at Anthem would have done their own QA and have a back channel to address this issue.
Submitted by MC on
I called for help and information 3 times today and used the chat. The first two calls and chat hooked me up with people who could not help me at all. The first lady put me on hold (I heard the music) and then disconnected the call. Second call and chat person told me I could NOT preview costs, even though the site did give me some information as such. I called again and actually got someone who knew that I could preview costs, and was trying to help me decipher the info, put me on hold, and after a 23 minute call I got disconnected again with the info. This is unbelievable! So, I finally decided to just go online and fill out one of the applications--and it is down--told me to come back later! I am beyond frustrated. I have paid for healthcare for a long time, and would love to see the costs actually come down, but it does not look like it is going to work. Your support people seem to be very uninformed and this day has been VERY frustrating. I would love to see the President trying to waste this kind of time just trying to figure out what is available, and getting nowhere.