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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 Matt on
Why wouldn't you test the website in small markets before having it go live? I don't remember Apple's website crashing for 5 weeks but that seems to be the comparison the president is going with.
Submitted by Melissa on
The site won't let me get past the 3 questions - it tells me my answers are the same and they are not, then says....Important: Your account couldn't be created at this time.
Submitted by Clarence on
I hope that the politicians on both sides will put as much effort into working the kinks out as much as they do criticizing it. We all know this is a good idea. Americans need health care! I can also see this as a first step toward free Universal Health Care. Please don't give up. I don't care as well as most Americans what you call it. So all you naysayers, quit your complaining and roll your sleeves up and get in there and fix this plan. You work for the people, not the party! There is no reason the opposing sides can't come together and sit down and talk and make this a BETTER PLAN. That's the way to solve problems. I know change is hard.
Submitted by Laura on
I don't ever see answers to our questions?
Submitted by John on
I get all the way through the process and start to enroll in my insurance plan and then it ask me to pick 2 plans to enroll in . and it wants to charge me 2 premiums and if I remove 1 of them it will not confirm my selections. Maybe you need to remove duplicate accounts. I only want 1 insurance policy nothing more .
Submitted by MM on
NOT HAPPY!. My account has been "processing" for three weeks. I have my eligibility but I cannot get to the plan selection area. This is making me crazy. I am trying to move and work by Jan 1. I don't have time for trouble with this site. Soooooooooooooo frustrated!
Submitted by sandra miller on
The website duplicated my husband 8x in the household section and froze completely up in the income section. All of this happened on Oct 2nd and itbremains that way. After 8 hours and 6 phone calls inwas told no one is able to fix it and wait a month or so and see if anything is done. I was told start a new application but it wont allow me because you are only allowed one pending application per state. There is currently no way to delete applications filled with errors that are "in progress" so that we can start a new application. Please help me!!!!
Submitted by Stan on
No one seems to be able to help because I have already completed the application process. However, I am stuck at setting the federal credit. Nothing happens. So, if I can get help when I call and I can't get help on "chat", what do I do?
Submitted by Very Tired on
I am having the same problem. Call Center can't help. Advanced Resolution Team can't help. Live Chat won't help, and they tell me to call the call center who can't help.
Submitted by Jared on
I was told to call Experian to verify my identity. This was caused because Experian lists my place of employment as my residence. I have downloaded my driver's license, my birth certificate and my high school diploma; but I am still being told to verify my identity.
Submitted by Steve on
It has been three weeks since completion of my application and I have not been able to view my detailed eligibility results, that they say are ready to view. All I get is a blank page, that's it. A number of phone calls to the phone help people say I need to wait for the completion of repairs to the site. We absolutely need affordable health insurance for everyone in this country, but this is way to painful
Submitted by Cynthia Marshalek on
I was able to do an application, but cannot go any further, I cant get back in my application or can I enroll or see any of the plans, what should I do, I desperately need to get insurance, We already owe over 26,000.00 in hospital bills.
Submitted by Bennie Walton on
Why don't you talk about the different government databases that must be interfaced. Here I am concerned about the various database formats and the software translation that need to take place between Healthcare.gov and those databases. What are some of the issues that still exists with making Healthcare.gov compatable with the various databases?
Submitted by Donna on
Hung up in the Family info page
Submitted by Liz on
I have been trying since October1st to enroll and select insurance. I have spoken with several very knowledgeable people who did their best to help me. It appears to me that there is a significant problem with transmission of completed applications and messages. The application completed for me by a telephone representative has never appeared in my account. I am at a loss as to what to do next.
Submitted by Marianne on
I understand how a Healthcare policy works. Your website does not let me compare a Bronze, Silver or Gold, side by side anywhere on the site. It only shows you what type of plan it is, the level ded/oop and a price. A consumer needs to be able to compare A B C & D and know what they are paying for. I want to know what my copay is for a PCP or a Specialist, does that include labs & x-rays. Co-pays for prescriptions, the different Tiers 1 2. It's no different than buying a car. There are options and I have a right to know what I am paying for. Each insurance company on the site needs to display each individual policy to the consumer from the Bronze to the platinum. The very first time I was able to make an application I did find a comparison available since then I have either had difficulty logging in, or the site was totally down. There is no longer a page to compare 3 or 4 insurances. Shame on the Federal government. I came from a country with Socialized Medicine and we never had to go through this. It wasn't free and we paid with our taxes. Didn't anyone put any thought into this.
Submitted by ronald collins on
This can be used to upgrade computer literacy. Further nix the word fix. use upgrade and use new version or upgrade. Also application.
Submitted by Clem Dominguez on
The site came up and I set up an account. The following are issues I found with the setup. I am a software developer with over ten years in Quality Control and forty years in the IT business. 1. When requesting a date for one of the security questions there is no date format like xx/xx/xx, so I had to guest. 2. Most we sites ask you for a password with Capital letters and lower case letters and numbers. This site asks you for the same for the USER name, this will cause many people a problem and cause more support issues for the site. 3. When I was entering information one of the fields I het enter and it took out of the screen. This should be trapped or the result should b eth same as hitting the Tab key. 4. When you forget your password there is no way for you to recover it. The message says they will give you a new one but no where to enter your email address and security code like other sites.
Submitted by IT Professional on
I agree with your points, but you lost creditability when you didn't proofread your own text before submitting it - especially with 10 years of "Quality Control" under your belt.
Submitted by Bedina W. on
I have faith in the UNITED States of America. This is a tremendous undertaking, for any one person, organization or country. Nothing new and worth having comes easy. It takes hard work and hurdles are inevitable. Instead of negative comments and remarks, I'd live to offer a positive statements. "Keep up the good work! I'm sure WE will get it right". In addition, I have 20+ years in the Healthcare field, with a bachelor's degree and working on an MBA. Being in between jobs at the moment, I would like to offer my services to help improve OUR country's new and soon to be greatest healthcare coverage for ALL.
Submitted by Kala on
This web site is just a small example of what happens every time the federal government tries to take over what should be left in the hands of the hands of state government. That being said, this whole health care bill is another step toward taking American freedom away. Government, federal or state should not have be allowed to tell Americans what they must buy.
Submitted by axillary mike on
Glad we are able to respond to our healthcare issues. 1. join new healthcare 1 1/2 months ago company only to get notice of cancellation for December 2013. 2. Looked into new plans from other healthcare groups and found that drug supplement was part of ALL plans dictated by new ? My wife and I do not share in any drug supplement plan as med's such as statins which have too many side effects. Their are many alternative ways to avoid using med's that do not enjoy the FDA status, nor the support of many practitioners as they have only been trained in handing out prescribed med's. Health Insurance companies need to be reign in to make this work. Government needs to collectively find preventative products and practitioners to reduce diseases. For my wife and I will travel to another country to have any surgery and avoid processed foods. When the Government admits that our food chain is so contaminated from soil additives, herbicides and water treatment and as the richest country in the world works to reverse this, healthcare among the general population will improve.
Submitted by Jeff on
The plan is simple. The poor get free health care as they always have and they always will, but now instead of it coming from local health departments and free clinics, the entire burden has been heaped on the backs the hard working people in the middles classes. Did you know that only 109 Million Americans have full time jobs? We are carrying the other 200 Million people! I'm about to "shrug".
Submitted by Educated on
"Poor" people as you refer to them, will not be given free healthcare with the ACA. This is a large misconception that is continually being fed into the minds of people and is completely false. If they do not have any income they will be referred to community health centers and clinics and those who have already been on Medicaid will be able to stay on Medicaid. This is not a free healthcare program. Why is everyone so uneducated about this? Please do your research and know what you are talking about before you go bashing.
Submitted by J.R. on
2 years ago I was forced to cancel our insurance because it increased from $350 per month to $750 over time. Now I have been offered insurance from this website that is $1485 per month! For two years we have been paying out of pocket for everything and will have to continue paying out of pocket and will also have to pay a fine of $1500! What terrible evil is this? We cannot afford to spend 25% of our income on insurance, but we have to spend 2-1/2% of all or our income as a fine for not buying insurance we absolutely cannot afford? We do not qualify for a subsidy either. This law is deceitful, oppressive, and abusive.