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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 Martin on
Finding this comments page was not intuitive. If you want feedback, place a link on the homepage and every page thereafter. After two applications have been initiated, the first one having to be abandoned, the second one is now inaccessible. After irregular glitches since October 1 I finally was able to sign in on October 10. Since then I have tried to complete this process online, through the live chat (six times) and with assistance by phone (4 times). Even the phone contacts are unable to find my application after I have given them every piece of personal information about me except my shoe size. My mailed in information that was requested is lost and was never acknowledged. My attachment to my application in answer to the need for further documentation is apparently lost as well. Now, each time I try to fill out the sign in page, it moves me to a new sign in page. No error message is provided. It is simply a futile exercise. No representative has ever been able to locate my application(s)- two of them - while assisting me on the phone. How many complex sales tasks does Amazon handle in a day? The technology exists to avoid this mayhem. I heard that 5 million people tried to sign up on the first day of the roll-out. Now, the 'fix' is to allow for 50,000 to be online at once. That is spit-in-the-bucket as a solution. Where is the leadership this project needs?
Submitted by Adam on
I have filled out the application on the Heathcare.gov site multiple times, and after the "electronic signature" page, the website sends me back to my login page. The site verifies my identity, but I have not been able to figure out how to go further, shop for plans, etc. This happens every time I try to fill out the application. I have made my Congressman aware of this issue, unfortunately the only assistance that his staff was able to offer was to give the 800 number, a list of local navigators and a paper application.
Submitted by K Martin on
I have called the help line 6 times trying to make change to a completed application. My son got his own insurance. I need to take him off the application before I enroll. The first four times I was told I would get a callback within 5 days. No call back. When I called in again, there was no record of my call. Start over. This happened FOUR TIMES. Fifth time, the call was actually recorded. Another 5 day wait. No callback. Called today, told I had to RE-ESCALATE. ANOTHER 5 DAYS! This is ridiculous. Why can't I just go into the application myself and make this simple change??? Why can't I just be escalated to the Advanced Resolution Team IMMEDIATELY????? This is beyond frustrating. At this rate I will miss the deadline even though I started almost two months ago. I cannot believe how bad this system is. This is the simplest of changes. I cannot do anything further. UNBELIEVABLE!
Submitted by David on
I can get to "Review Profile" and then there is no way to advance. Live chat tells me to log on at a time when there is less volume. This has been going on for a month. I have reset my application and tried again multiple tomes. I hope someone who can do something reads these. Very frustrated!
Submitted by Steve on
Here's an important feature this is needed. When one goes to the Review Plans & Prices page, why can't the user click on an interested plan to see the plan details on coverages and then click on a "Compare" icon to see a matrix of other plans so an easier informed decision can be made. This would be easier and similar to other web site applications that allow comparison of products and services.
Submitted by Stephen on
this is no better than the first rollout . I will pay the fine and make up for it in the voting booth
Submitted by Michael on
I have been trying to enroll since oct 10, cannot get past ID verification, have been a US citizen since birth 1959, never lived outside US, have my own accounts with all 3 credit bureau's, have uploaded docs. mailed docs. to dept of HHS, have called 9 times, always told Advance Resolution will get back with me, (never happened), finally in frustration advised them to completely cancel my enrollment attempt, this entire ordeal is a frustrating nightmare, funny thing I am a 30 year insurance veteran, I am covered but was looking to make a change due to an exclusionary rider on my current plan, what a total nightmare this thing is.
Submitted by Linda on
I am awaiting information from my small business employer to get online to sight up for coverage. If I do not get the information to sigh up by this Friday, November 29th, I am told I am out of luck to continue with coverage from my employer and my insurance will expire this January I am being forced into private insurance due to some unknown loop hole?
Submitted by Not Worth my time! on
I am an agent in Va. I have not been able to submit a single application. I get to the end of the process and it tells me the system is temporarily down. This WEBSITE is a JOKE!
Submitted by PHYLLIS on
My husband and I have not been able to enroll in a plan yet. Because when we try, it only offers the plan for one of us, instead of both. We called and called and no one can help us, all they say is that they will report the problem to "advanced solution" and that someone would call back in 2 to 5 business days It has been over three weeks and still no call ! Has anyone else had this same problem??
Submitted by N on
I have signed up and reach a page which states: "Your detailed eligibility results are ready". When I click on the "View Eligibility Results" another browser opens up and states: The webpage cannot be found HTTP 400 Most likely causes: •There might be a typing error in the address. •If you clicked on a link, it may be out of date. What you can try: Retype the address. Go back to the previous page. Go to and look for the information you want. More information More information
Submitted by Dee on
Keep trying is the best advise. Also make sure pop-ups are enabled and try using a different browser. Google Chrome, in my experience, has been the best browser. If after numerous attempts online it still is giving an error message, contact the call center for the Marketplace as a representative there may be able to access. I know for mine I was having an error because of using a po box for my address and a street address was required.
Submitted by Marjorie on
I finished my application and it will not let me "edit" a mistake!!!! I click the edit button and it will not take me back to the original question!!!! Now I am stuck and cannot even apply. Your question about employers offered ins plans makes no sense when in parenthesis it says "non family plans". All my employer's plans are for families but I want to see if I can get a better deal on the exchanges. So I cannot file because there is not another option involving a regular family plan.
Submitted by Barbara on
Now my account page is blank. ????
Submitted by Marie on
I don't understand why I can't delete my application and start it over. I made a mistake and now I have no way of fixing the application that I haven't even submitted yet, other than to call and refile the whole application over the phone.
Submitted by Tonya on
Hi I am an agent in NC. I have not been able to submit a single application. I get to the end of the process and it tells me system is temporarily down.
Submitted by Cindy on
my husband and I truly are unhappy about what is happening to us do to the the adorable health care act. I work for Sodexo who has decided to drop our insurance starting in January because of this, to make matters worse we can go on my husbands insurance but all they are offering is the cheapest they can fine which is 7,000 dollar detectable no co pay (coin insurance ). I am on to very expensive medications . Which means until the detectable has been meant they won't help pay for them. How can this be right. Because his place of work offers insurance means we don't qualify for the insurance that's being offered on the affordable care web sight. How can this be a good thing to do to people. Mr. President you really have made a big mess out of our life's.
Submitted by RAY on
I have been waiting for 6 weeks to have my identity verified. I have called in on 5 different occasions. On 3 different straight occasions I have been told that they would “escalate” my problem and someone would call me back within 3-5 business days. No one ever calls me back. I was told 3 day ago that if no one called me back this time, that they would immediately escalate my call when I called in. No one called and I was NOT escalated.
Submitted by Donna on
Below are 2 comments I left on one of the Healthcare.gov sites, so I decided to copy and paste them here, too. It all may just be "weird", but, at this point, why not? Just sayin'..... Donna Johnson • an hour ago − In order to check out the social communication site that is allowing comments on Healthcare.gov, I'm posting a comment that may not be allowed. This is a suggestion that I'm certain will be considered "weird". My browser is Google Chrome and I've had numerous problems with Disqus comment sites that seem famiiar to what people have been reporting. If you are using Chrome or Firefox (all I'm aware of now), some of the problems may lie with Disqus. Either people could try another browser or the site itself needs to set up a separate comment application that won't interfere with the rest of the site. Donna Johnson • 13 minutes ago − Out of curiousity, I went to HHS.gov/DigitalStrategy and noticed that a post dated 10/20/13 has a comment section provided by Mollom.com which has a security notice on my computer. The comments on that site are current as of 11/20/13 and are basically reporting the same issues. Neither of the government sites have a security notice...I haven't and won't apply (socialism Medicare), so I have no idea if the separate links have security notices. If not, they definitely should and why did Healthcare.gov decide to use Disqus, not Mollom.com?
Submitted by D. on
Socialism: you cannot make that kind of statement without examples. This broad statement is saying that England, Norway, France, and Germany are socialists because they care for their own. I think caring for your own is something we in the United States need to do but which we sorely lack the ability or aptitude to do. Have you ever looked up what a socialist or socialism is? I doubt it very much.
Submitted by Manuel on
In New York and I accessed the website on October Hit a glitch but I tried again over the next two days and my application <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjXq8Z-gLqs">was</a> submitted. Many choices to look over and I find I can get health insurance for as little as $60/month with a subsidy. That's terrific! I will need some time to look over all the choices before I choose a plan.
Submitted by Barbara on
What happened to my tax credit? My "Eligibility Results" have disappeared. Do I now have to open a whole new account? Nobody knows the answer. Everyone that I've called and "chatted" with has no clue what to do. ??? HELP!
Submitted by Jim on
I helped a friend last week (he is not computer savvy) and from beginning to end went without a flaw, and purchased the plan he needed and wanted. Trying to help another friend this week, and somehow I must have entered a wrong final number in his social security number. I have tried correcting it over and over again, and when I go to save and proceed.....the bad number is still used.. Have no idea how to correct this????
Submitted by Hai on
"early half a million applications for coverage have been submitted" are you freaking kidding, I only tried to submit for my mother who is retired. I have been trying 3 times in 3 different location, 3 different PC. but still couldn't complete. I couldn't do simple thing updating her profile. So you logged that as 3 unique visits? What's a joke. Should rename it to HEALTHCARE.CRASH instead
Submitted by Gary on
There has been improvement, but it has come at a very slow pace. I can now get to the on-line Authenticating process before your system fails. This is futher than before, but as you can imagine, a long way from getting to where I need to go, and what I'm trying to do, that's getting health quotes! We are a long way from 10-1-2013 and there is still much work yet to be done. You need to seriously think about extending the end of the enrollment period for as long as it takes you to get things working the way they should. I would suggest at least a one month extension, but I have a feeling you will need to make it more like two months, or the end of May 2014. I seriously doubt things will be flying like they should be by the end of November 2013.