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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 channelclemente on
What part to antiquated or inappropriate validation requirements play in the cycle time you experience from glich discovery to it's remediation?
Submitted by Jon on
So this is what $600 million dollars buys America.
Submitted by Louis on
For the past two weeks I have been stuck at the part where I am supposed to chose from a list of exchange plans. The list always comes up empty for me.
Submitted by Samantha on
Life is not perfect and for the news stations, reporters or the Republican political party to always find fault just proves to me that our worlds love for negitivaty is shameful. I believe in what you all are doing and always keep your head up!
Submitted by Anonymous on
Its not just republicans ... its even people who SUPPORTED this bill. By the way, you spelled "negativity" wrong!
Submitted by Luke on
You need a redesign. Here's a better architecture that'll be easier to implement, test, secure, and scale: http://blog.fmsinc.com/creating-a-healthcare-gov-web-site-that-works/
Submitted by Nick on
I am sorely missing an opportunity to report specific errors and application issues to a knowledgeable person, who is able and willing to look into and solve these issues, or to escalate issues higher up in the organization. The call center has NOT been this opportunity. It may act as a shield, isolating HHS staff from the brunt of direct customer contact, but it has not solved any issue in 8+ calls nor has it shown interest in specific problem reports and suggestions for improvement. This has been the most frustrating part of using healthcare.gov.
Submitted by Susan on
Hung up on the Verify Identity section. I don't remember being asked any questions to verify identity, yet I get a message that I have tried to verify identity the maximum number of times. I tried calling Experian but they have no record of my application. They said I need a reference # but I was never given one. When I first log in I get a message saying there is a message for me about verifying identity, but I don't know how to get that message. I tried the online help but they just said I should call the help number and they would set up a 3 way call with Experian. I have not tried that yet. I keep hoping the site will be improved so I can just verify my identity on the site by answering questions. I haven't tried scanning proof of identity because the only scanner I have is years old and not currently set up with my computer.
Submitted by Nina on
Just letting you know, I scanned my info twice and the site said successfully and when I called to check no one has any idea where that info went. The verification company in Ky said they can't help me without a reference number so I asked them how do I find that and of course no help but someone somewhere has my personal info and tried the help line to both and they both said sure we can help and then after a short time referred me to each other and as of now I have an application I can't log into and is not verified and they have told me 6 wks to send paper application, same for approval of the one I did on the phone and online, and they now tell me it will take at least 2 weeks to verify my identity on top of that timeline.
Submitted by Joseph on
Experian's database is not always correct. I had a problem a couple yearsago trying to get my credit report online. They ask me question I could not answer becaus ethey had mixed my data with another person. You should ask them for a complete copy of your credit report ASAP.
Submitted by Dennis on
I think it's totally unacceptable to roll out a flawed nationwide system to consumers. I heard that beta testing began about 6 days before the formal rollout date of October 1. WTF? That's totally unacceptable, and project managers, contract managers, technical managers, and anyone involved in decisions to test 6 days before rollout must be held accountable for poor decisions and poor implementation.
Submitted by totus on
you are a mean guy. The government is never wrong. This was a really hard website to design. I mean, like the prototype of the website has only been in existence for 6 years. It's called the Part D plan finder. Only a moron with a billion dollars to waste would not have used the Part D website as a model. Admittedly the Part D website is a shitty site, but at least it works, Anyway, have some more patience with government incompetence. Don't worry and be happy. I hope the NASA does not drop a drone on you.
Submitted by Jay on
Welcome to my world!
Submitted by Rasmussen on
You have to pass it in order to read it
Submitted by Kristine on
It doesnt recognize my username or password, so I request username and password to be sent to my email address.. Its been three weeks and I'm still waiting for those emails to show up.
Submitted by MM on
I hear you loud and clear. Same problem!
Submitted by DS on
Kristine, I would stop patiently waiting. Check that the email didn't go to a spam folder. If that does not work, request a new password again.
Submitted by Angela on
I've had the same exact problem. I'm glad I'm not the only one. I checked my junk mail just to make sure it wasn't there.
Submitted by laurence on
The moment the ACA market place opened I (Kansasn) logged on, and attempted to enroll. I was able to complete the application, but glitches kept me fromidentity verification. I called 8-12 times and spoke to patient, well meaning reps, but they could never resolve the verification process. On the 11 day from the launch of the Market Place, I set up an account using my wife's data. Within ONE hour my wife and I had COMPLETED our enrollment! Please inform your reps, to suggest that people stop fighting glitches with one account, and instead open a new account. To VERIFY IDENTIFICATION, PRIOR TO STARTING THE APPLICATION. Good luck, the country needs this ACA Market Place to work, please get the software fixed, please get it fixed soon!
Submitted by Dave on
That didn't work. Maybe it working for you was a glitch. Just push the mandate back a year and get this turkey working right.
Submitted by Betty on
This is a failed health care program from the start. It is costing the tax payers billions & it isn't even working. Why isn't something ne to stop this insanity program? Enough is enough!
Submitted by JUDY on
CAN't OPEN NEW ACCOUNT WHEN ITS JUST ME THAT BEING COVERED??? can't use husband to open accct! I HAVE to use one that's locked up! already vertified and completed just can't confirm and pay to finish
Submitted by Anonymous on
we need this obama garbage like a hole in the head understand this is just more proof the government cant do anything repeat anythingh but steal tax payor money
Submitted by Rasmus on
You must work for obamaaa
Submitted by Tom on
Are you saying that you shared private information about yourself and your wife with an unknown entity more than one time? I have and while I can log in and fill out the forms, I can't get access to the marketplace.