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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 Somer on
If your only option for healthcare is over 8% of your income, then you are exempt from the penalty. Look it up.
Submitted by bob on
lame site
Submitted by Marc on
I cant believe they are letting open comments on this blog. That's pretty amazing. Congress of the United States begun and held at the City of New-York, on Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine. THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution. RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz. ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution. [Personal Information withheld for Privacy]
Submitted by Jeanie on
Sick jokesters!
Submitted by James on
Completed application online oct. 4. (Received account ID number). Got as far as a page stating that my application has been received and processed and the results are ready to view. I have NOT been able to log in ever since!!!
Submitted by Santos on
Shameless spin! How can you title this page "Doing Better", when nothing of consequence has improved?
Submitted by Steve on
Did our government farm this out to a foreign company? whoa!
Submitted by Ron on
Just a point of information, I was unable to get very far using my Internet explorer browser. It would crash & report that the site caused the browser to stop working. But when I switched to my Ipad using the safari built in browser I was able to work through the entire process. Ex-IBMer
Submitted by Steve on
..green eggs and ham healthcare.. be careful of what you vote for
Submitted by kimberly on
I have tried to create a account entered the info several time you email a link to confirm my email address unfortunately I work for a living and didn't check my email in time so when I did click the link it told me to try again and I did but keep getting error messages and no email I really hope you fix this so I can try to apply before the cut off date or have it in your hearts to push back the cut off date
Submitted by Ian on
We can send men to the moon and back but can't create a website that works. Pitiful!
Submitted by John on
I've been trying for over 1 week to create an account and haven't been able to do so. I am on a timetable due to work and am very frustrated. I understand that things happen and I support the healthcare reform. I extremely dislike that this situation has given naysayers another reason to be negative about these changes. AND I really need to see what my options for affordable healthcare are for both me and my daughter
Submitted by RAJ on
As of today,I still can not get on website. how long will it take for the site to work. our deadline is getting closer and u still have no idea what it's going on with the Obama care. this is very frustrating.
Submitted by Patrick on
I submitted my app and it said that I could now enroll but when I click enroll it goes to a blank page. But that is okay because the President said that I could just call in and enroll but guess what. The call center could not access the mainframe to enroll me over the phone either. What a joke!!! How are people not in jail for fraud, because that is what this is. Sebelius, Obama, and the no-bid contract company who designed this are all defrauding us. Like selling oceanfront property in Arizona. The American people should be getting a refund on their taxes for this pile of crap, if this was something I bought at the store it would have been returned for defectiveness and my money returned to me, this should be the same case.
Submitted by Andrea on
I was just informed if you do an application over the phone that it could take 4 to 6 weeks for a determination. Thats not including the time it will take to send to the Ins Co I want or the plan . Our heath ins is being terminated on Dec 31 . The same Health plan is going to cost us 200.00 more than we pay now . Washington wake up and do something about these deadline no one will have ins at this rate.
Submitted by David on
What all this proves is that we need a single-payer health-insurance system rather than the bungled Obamacare plan. Why couldn't we just extend Medicare, a comprehensive and efficient system, to all regardless of age?
Submitted by Gail on
That sounds like a great idea. But get someone in Congress to agree to that!
Submitted by Anonymous on
It's too bad that the government didn't process the individual / family credits for the exchange the same way that they do for individuals over 65 that receive a credit for their Medicare RX. Let the people submit their applications rather it be paper or electronic with the approximate credit that they would receive, then send a confirmation letter once income has been confirmed.
Submitted by Jim on
The Affordable Care Act "Assistors" have been barred from entering County Health Department Offices here in Florida by the obstructionist Governor Scott. This site does not accept user name and password. We can choose a policy but not enroll. We need coverage by Jan 1st, and understand that the deadline is Nov 15th for that. Hellpp!!!
Submitted by Richard on
The deadline is actually December 15th to receive coverage by Jan 1st 2014. I would recommend calling the Marketplace hotline at ph#1-800-318-2596 they can help you enroll over the phone.
Submitted by David on
This website is worthless!!!!
Submitted by teresa on
i just want to have some health insurance at a monthly premium that i can afford. i have none now.
Submitted by Ben on
It's very scary that the entire government's solution to the healthcare woes of America are hinging on a broken website and an 800 number.
Submitted by sonovia on
I want ACA to be a success. please don't let those mean republicans and the media (who's in their corner) win and we loose affordable healthcare. thank you all so much for helping the people of the U S.
Submitted by Judy on
I have succeeded (I think) in creating an account and an application--the website gives me an id no. and tells me that my application has been processed and I can view eligibility results--at that point the system fails--when I click on view eligibility results nothing happens--I am told that there is no manual override to the system--that the phone line and in-person assistance will only get you an account but you still have to access the website to view plans--my current insurance converts to a very expensive plan on 12/15 and at this point I have no hopes that I am not going to be stick either taking it or paying the penalty and going uninsured (for the first time in my life I might add) I do not know of any person in the state of new mexico who has succeeded in purchasing an individual (non small business) plan under healthcare.gov--you have indicated that the eligibility portal is up and running--am I doing something wrong? when I called the phone assistance yesterday, they told me it wasn't working and today they told me that they have no record of my application even though I am sitting in front of a screen with an application number--tired of the lies and misinformation--I just want my health insurance which the president says is my right!!!