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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 Mary on
just trying to get info on Ins
Submitted by Tom on
Why can't I find out prices including copays and deductables without filling out an entire application? I talked with an agent on the phone and she said that applications were taking "an hour- more or less". Why should I have to spend an hour filling out a form just to possibly find out that I can't afford the offered plan when you calculate total costs including copays and deductables. The monthly premium is only the tip of the total expenses!
Submitted by Kim on
I don't understand why they ask you to AGREE or DISAGREE. Then tell me that when I disagree for them to use my tax return information for future information on how to charge us for health care. The web site said it would affect my eligibility with assistance, paying for Health Insurance. So why put a disagree button.
Submitted by Steve on
It has been two weeks and I have not been able to view my eligibility results, its a blank page. I called for help three times, no help. Should I continue to enrollment without viewing results??? I was excited to have affordable health insurance for everyone who needs it, in fact I THINK IT IS IMPERATIVE, you have got to get the site fixed soon before people give up.
Submitted by Joe on
Please have mercy.
Submitted by Gwen on
I am glad that there is progress being made to the Healthcare.gov website. Please keep up the good work. Also, I have my name in the application listed four times and my husband once. It should only be mine and my husband listed. I hope all mistakes can be corrected before the final submission to go to the next level. I have been unable to get to the insurance page or to see if I am eligible. I hope someone will help me to get to that point. I just want to get this over. Where do I go for answers and get my application submitted?
Submitted by Fritz on
Submitted by anonymous on
I can't get far enough online to get quotes, but I did go to www.ehealthinsurance.com . My most affordable health insurance option between now and Jan. 1 will skyrocket by 261%??!!
Submitted by Anonymous on
do i have to join the comunist party sorry the obama party to get heath care no thanks
Submitted by Paul on
Nice improvements the last week. No snark. Waited only 15 seconds on hold with the toll free number; rep was great. Looks like lots of trolls here. Have fun while it lasts.
Submitted by Joseph Baier on
I filed an appl over the phone in the first week of Oct. ( for my wife Carol Baier ). Since then I have been told numerous time that the appl was accepted and that I would receive the info including prices and plan details via the mail. The web site does give prices for 30 different plans, but it does not give any details about any of the plans. This makes the whole thing useless because my wife does not know what she would be paying for. For example --what are the deductables etc. At this point I do not know what you have done with her application. Please respond. Sicerelny Joseph E. Baier
Submitted by Ralph on
I got a notice last week that my insurance I loved has been cancelled--the letter specifically said because of the Affordable Care Act. I thought the President promised if I liked my insurance plan I could keep my insurance plan. What gives? Instead as a direct result of this law that was supposed to make things better I'm actually now for the first time without health insurance. I've been trying and trying to use this site or apply by phone. Site is totally broken and non-responsive; phone operator says they don't actually take enrollments--just referred me back to this web site that doesn't work. If this is how dysfunctional signing up for Obamacare is it makes me very worried: What happens when I need care? Am I going to be waiting and waiting for a government bureaucrat to give approval and sign off on my treatment? My personal health care choices should be between me and my insurance company and my doctor--not dictated by the government.
Submitted by Jeb on
it seems that if my wife and I apply for individual coverage rather than me and her together we can get a tax credit that we will not get if we apply together. Is this true that I am getting screwed again for being married?
Submitted by Thaddeus on
Okay so this is law ? I did not ask for this stupid non-working insurance/ website. I am going to need Mental Health services just for having to deal with this website. I have called and I think you are using your IT guys as operators because they have no more clue than the web site designers that build this crap. I am feeling pretty good at the moment. I think I might self insure myself. (Really I think I can do better than the folks behind this great idea) I called the other night and I think Hillary Clinton answered the help line.
Submitted by Tom on
This whole thing is a lie .never saw a worse web site,.useless for indidivduals and employers
Submitted by Lance on
Who are the "best and brightest from both inside and outside government" that are working on this? Why is that a secret? And how do you define "best and brightest," anyways? Enough with the happy-speak. Just give us the facts - we can decide what superlatives should be added. I have been diligently working on an on-line application since 01Oct - with no success. I filed an application by phone late last week, but found out I will not know anything more until I receive something in the mail. In the mail?
Submitted by richard on
i have now three accounts on three different emaiuls and cannot log into any of them as it says invalid account. '
Submitted by Pam on
This site has given me a headache,the government should have been prepared and had the reps should have been trained better everyone i have talked to since the first til now has told me something different.
Submitted by KATHLEEN BIELSKI on
I'm from Pa. Allegheny Co.....have been able to create an account, submit an application and receive my eligibilty results vis a pdf file, but when I am on my profile acct, it says view results of my eligibility, it sends me to the application site. I have not be able to look at the plans side by side and enroll.
Submitted by Roger on
Same thing happened to me on 10/8. I checked back for 2 weeks to see if it got fixed. Finally I said the heck with it and completed the application (again) that it sent me to. That worked, I got a new PDF eligibility notice and I was able to review the plans and prices. Got to finish 2 more steps of the process, but was unable to finish the 3rd step, which is select a plan. It wants me to select a plan for me only, one for me & my wife and another for me & my wife. I am stuck at this point. The 4th step is select a dental plan and the final sttep is to submit application for selected insurance plan. good luck.
Submitted by rochella mccarty on
I am needing. To know what I can afford in health care I only bring home 73.00 a week and pay 50.00 a week in rent that only leaves me 20.00 to get by with someone please help me . Thank you
Submitted by linda on
I have filled out the application 5 times! Today being the 5th time. No results! Frustrating? What do you think
Submitted by Mike on
I filled out an application successfully 3 weeks or so ago. I qualify for the tax credit, and the application came back approved (with a letter) but a note that more info is needed. I never got to see what plans I was eligible for. I have called several times to no avail. Today is the first day that I have been able to log in to the site. My application is still there with the note that more information is needed. I lose my cobra coverage at the end of the year and am disabled and on oxygen. Seems to me like time is running out so please get this fixed as soon as possible.
Submitted by Robert Denson on
Let get this site up. When will this site be up? Don't drop the ball on this it is too important to the people of the U.S.. Talk to Microsoft to help. Do your job. I live in Georgia and the White people are trying stop Black and White any from getting it. More people want it than you think!!!rd PS I still can not Sign in. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Submitted by George on
Because of the ACA, my health insurance has gone up 25% this year and most likely will go up another 25% next year. This is bad for my budget! So, now I need insurance thru Healthcare.gov but I having problems with Healthcare.gov and want to get insurance by Jan. 1 ,2014. I hope it gets fixed soon! I went to this site http://www.valuepenguin.com/ for accurate cost information. This information has not been attainable thru Healthcare.gov. I hope it gets fixed soon! I called the Healthcare.gov phone number a lot. The information is just sorry, sorry, and more sorry. Between all the sorry, what information I got was bad. Just called this number etc. etc. and the numbers led to nowhere. I believe the ACA is more than a web site but the site is an excellent example of health care in the USA. In conclusion, the ACA is troubling and terrifying but that is the USA health care system. I hope it will get fixed soon!