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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 George DeNardis on
I can't create a Marketplace account but I have called in my application which I received an E-Mail notice. I still can't created a Marketplace account to see the application. I get this message: Create a Marketplace account Important: Your account couldn't be created at this time. Call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325.
Submitted by Luis on
Every-time I try to create an account, the following message appears at the end of all the steps(security questions, etc.): Important: Your account couldn't be created at this time. Call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. I have tried to create an account several times.
Submitted by Ashley on
I am very frustrated with not being able to log in to the website. I turn 26 in January and will losing my health insurance under my parents. I am employed; however, my employer (catholic diocese) has extremely high rates. My open enrollment for my job ends on Nov 8th. It is critical that I am able to log in and see if I qualify for lower rates. Being a Catholic school teacher and not paid a lot, I need affordable health care options and hope to be able to find something under the Affordable Care Act. I am nervously biting my nails and trying to log in multiple times a day. I hope this situation is solved soon!
Submitted by Umah P on
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius must resign. Obama's appointee is a disaster!
Submitted by Umah P on
How much is that going us the taxpayers? HHS already blew $660 Million. How much more? Such stupidity? That's govt for you? Waste & fraud!
Submitted by HARIVADAN on
Submitted by Tom on
I've been trying to create an account since program inception (October 1). I continually get a variety of crazy messages, the most recent being that I could not create an account because my first name, last name and email address are not unique! What the devil does that mean? Most people use their names in their email address, so it's never going to be "unique." I need health insurance for my 61-year-old wife and the Marketplace appears promising. Clean this mess up!
Submitted by Peggy on
Healthcare.gov/marketplace sucks and is slow. I was able to create an account, but have not been able to log in since to shop for a plan. WTH??????
Submitted by Rick on
Don't you think you should have figured this out before you implemented it? This is administration has it'e head up it's ass!
Submitted by Jim on
Still can't create an account. Keeps saying I have 2 or more security answers the same. Is this ever going to be fixed?
Submitted by John on
Submitted by John on
HHS not transparent in re ACA reporting metrics. Not positive. Not trusting. Not confirming. Not smart. John Batchelor
Submitted by Mo on
That's our big problem? That we have to fix our web site? Boy we got it good. Light it up for us, HHS. Be brave. Don't take guff. Mo
Submitted by Rajiv on
The save and continue buttons , most of them are just fake and do not save. So when you go back to the unfinished application , you start 7,8 save and continue buttons behind where you last stopped because of a glitch. In my case , when ever I press save and continue after entering spouses name, date of birth , the application stops responding and when I go back into the application, it starts again many screens behind where I left. I have failed to get past this stage in my 33 attempts so far.
Submitted by Gaylene Kanoyton on
Thank you for this update!
Submitted by Kathleen on
Hi, I would really love the site to have some kind of message like please wait or system working. I've registered for the site and have only been able to get in one time. All the other times I just get a blank screen when I log in and land on the profile page.. I'm not sure if there is a bug, if I should wait or what. the other issue is that last night , the one time I was able to get in , I filled out the application without to much trouble.. took a while for a family of 4 but the bad part is that when I went to submit application .. the system said it was processing but after a couple minutes..back to the same submit application page.. I've done everything you all say on your site, clear cache, cookies etc. I'm an IT PM/tester too. I really hope my application did save and that I can resubmit..I've tried 3 times to day but no go to get past the blank screen.. I hope things get better because I really do need to buy health insurance.. I'm not just a lurker or tv reporter ..
Submitted by Steven F. Piekarec on
You say you want comments (and I have plenty, not many good), but it is hard to find our where to make them. The following is a small piece of what I sent to my Congressman (since HHS is so non-responsive) I did get my account created in the first 2 hours (after 8-9 tries, all with different problems. The initial days, could not even get the login screen. I have called the 800 number fifty or more times over the last several weeks. Most of the people are no help at all (some almost hostile) and the few that are helpful do not have enough information from HHS about what is happening and when it might be fix My online form has been filled out for almost 2 weeks, but HHS cannot/has not fixed the "Authentication" problem, even though Experian has confirmed I am verified 10 days ago. Without "Authentication", no one can proceed. The AFCA is not the problem here. The mistakes are not just "glitches", but serious mis-management of an IT process. I am an IT person with 25 years of experience and I have never since an IT project so messed up on basic IT planning and management.
Submitted by Barbara Lee on
I wish people would be patience.You buy a brand new car and it has flaws just like anything else.Remember after the 2008 election and the Obama won the internet went haywire and it is the same thing!This will work!!!
Submitted by Samara on
I get an error message after I answer the security questions that say the answers can't be the same, but they aren't the same. If people are getting past this error message, I would like to know how.
Submitted by Rick on
This is unconscionable how we can send people to planets far beyond earth, build and pilot unmanned aircraft and the United States cannot devise an effective website portal!. I have tried relentlessly, morning noon and night to login in with my username and password for 20 days now. I have phoned in my application and spoke to "Navigators" that are totally unprepared to take my application. I am convinced I will never receive the status of my application in the mail. So what do I need to do? Phone in a couple more applications just to assure myself that maybe one of the Navigators got it right?
Submitted by John Colton on
Should have had the best and brightest on board three years ago not three weeks after it launched. You're losing sign ups and potentially threatening the entire ACA.
Submitted by Josey Wales on
It's time for techies to make a stand against the Federal Government. They have been the enablers that have allowed technologies from drones to illegal surveillance to be developed which daily kill and destroy people's lives. It's time to stand up against this outrage!
Submitted by Denise on
I've been filling out the information and when I get to the page to sign and send it keeps telling me to wait 24 hours to come back later and thats been going on a 7 days straight
Submitted by Bob on
Just wanted to thank you for my son's insurance (age 28) going up $40 a month. Keep up the good work.
Submitted by sandra armstrong on
I am one of the people this healthcare is suppost to help and your people are telling me to apply for medicare I don't qualify for afordable care