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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 Robert on
I guess Obama should of taken the out and pushed back the GRAND OPENING of the website for one year.
Submitted by Marcia on
19 million people (me being one, and I don't need insurance) out of morbid curiosity to see firsthand what a train wreck looks like.
Submitted by Richard on
Me too. I will not sign up for this communist takeover of our freedom.
Submitted by David on
Maybe if idiots like you would stay off the site, the rest of us might stand a chance.
Submitted by Alan on
I think it's a total shame that Republican-run "red states" are thwarting every attempt to make this worthy program a success. Here in New York, a Democratic "blue state", and in other states with their own state-run websites, the exchanges and their websites are working perfectly. People are getting just what they need and at much less cost than individual policies. It is too bad that Republicans would rather see fail anything President Obama wants, even though it is good for the county. Don't despair, people, keep trying and as the glitches are ironed out, you will succeed. The Republican party is now, and has been for the past 5 years, on the wrong side of history!
Submitted by Allan on
You must not have tried to get on today cause your NY state is down for maintenance - ooopsy
Submitted by Ben on
im also from new york, and since im 28 years old I don’t want to buy any insurance, because I don’t have any extra money for that crap, im also from new york, and since im 28 years old i don’t want to buy any insurance, its nobody’s dame businesses nobody’s business about my health, Obama stop acting like a father to a small child.
Submitted by Lindsay on
Who are you? Why isn't there a person taking responsibility? This is like an amorphous blob of government. Who is in charge? Who was in charge? Who is responsible? Go to your crisis response 101 handbook and follow your script. You are doing more damage to the ACA implementation by this hiding behind webpages and blog posts. Don't leave the President with this hot potato. Man up!
Submitted by Jeff on
I am confused, Obama said everything is going pretty well considering the size of this project. But most of the comments are negative. Who is telling the truth the American public or the Administration?
Submitted by Frederick on
What a waste of my money. What made our country great is the people not the government. It makes me sick to my stomach that I have to work hard and others do not because my hard earned money supports a welfare state. I have no respect for the government, all branches. Why don't you treat my money like it is my money not yours. I prefer freedom to make my own choices.
Submitted by Suzie on
Amen brother
Submitted by Penny on
Where can you go sign up for Affordable Health Care in person in Berwyn Illinois? Need a name of the FederalBuilding and address.
Submitted by Bill on
Could've had it this project done right by outsourcing it to Chinese programmers for half of what it has cost so far. Then we could've used the other half to start paying back the country's debt to China.
Submitted by Lost American on
But your not sharing the stories about middle class America who FOR THE FIRST TIME can not afford health insurance. But by all means toot your horn Obama about all the individuals getting health insurance for the first time .................... Guess we could quit our jobs and let you take care of us also. No joke may have to............ thank you mr president ............
Submitted by Jerome Jochem on
For many of us, getting stuck in bad programing errors is not just inconvenient, it is critical and can result in termination of treatment on Dec 31st if insurance can not be obtained. My wife is suffering from ovarian cancer. We were covered in a pre-existing insurance plan by the state of Tennessee, (acess TN) and was informed that coverage would end Dec 31st because we could get health insurance through the exchange. Since Oct 1st, I have tried every day to get coverage, have spent hours on the phone trying to find out how to get my application through in time so we have no gap in treatment, and still have no coverage. The website says that my application is finished but when I click on the check eligibility button nothing happens. There seems to be no priority given for applications from people undergoing life saving treatment, and there is no recognition that these exchange problems may result in the premature death of perhaps hundreds of thousands of people who would have had coverage except for this incredibly incompetent website.
Submitted by Bruce on
Submitted by S from Texas on
This is entertaining! Check please.
Submitted by Sheena on
Ughhh I wont let me pass step 2. (my dependents information)
Submitted by Scott on
I have checked the "Affordable Heath Care" costs vs my current costs and my current plan is less expensive! The total cost of health cars is the monthly premium, the deductibles to be met, and the maximum out of pocket costs I will have to cover if I encounter an illness or hospital stay. The government plan will never beat private plans, it can only try to provide coverage for the less fortunate who may not be able to get coverage today. This will drive up the government plan costs and they will have to increase premiums eventually (or further subsidize the program). We can come up with a private plan to cover those individuals without a complete government take-over...Also, it would be nice to know how much money was wasted by the government creating these online sites and the advertising they have done to sell this program. Complete transparency would be nice, although I doubt we will get accurate information from this administration!
Submitted by Anonymous on
trying really trying
Submitted by Kenneth on
Last week I managed to create a login, up to and including email verification. I cannot log in. The error message doesn't say 'System too busy', it says the authentication failed. The email to reset a password never arrives -- though I must have entered the email correctly for the email verification to work. I really want the ACA to succeed, but the _Total Fail_ of the website for 3 weeks and counting is pretty depressing.
Submitted by Mike on
The Republicans were right. This is a mess trying to explain this to my employees, some of which only have a high school education.
Submitted by alfred alvarado on
thank you!!
Submitted by Barbara on
I live in Florida and want information on coverage and cost within the federally mandated exchange. So far I have yet to be able to get the information I need. Online I get all the way through the security questions just to be told the system cannot process me any further. I am a W2 contract employee who has to pay full group rate through my agency. I just want to shop the marketplace to compare coverage and premiums. I would really like to know how much QA was done on this website.... I would be fired from my job had I released such a flawed program.
Submitted by Anand on
Glitches aren't anticipated but happened anyway. This should have been planned well ahead but not done. I am IT engineer I went through similar situation before so I know about this. Of course there was poor planning for signup process which is not signing up phase wise that create huge burden on application. I can see each data verify in every step rather collect all data and than send for verification in database that will eliminate huge burden from server process. I apologies to tech team I have absolutely no doubt about your expertise but I spend huge amount of time for this sign up process so I am expressing mu unhappiness.