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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.

WHAT HAPPENED – WHAT WE ARE WORKING ON

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.

TECH SURGE

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.

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Comments

Submitted by Barbara on
Omigosh! It's true! This website is a mess even after you register. I am stuck in a loop not getting beyond My Profile and this is after the "identifying process" was successful. I just want to compare the details of the policies. I have no intention of buying something when I don't know what I'm getting...no matter who pays for it. Government contract techies should be ashamed of themselves. This appears to be a rudimentary site. Whoever heard of bringing up a website that has not been tested? Let's throw another few million dollars down the drain to see if it works next month.
Submitted by Erik on
3.5 years and the complaint was you had to be finished in a short amount of time, Oct, 1st 2013, 3.5 years after the LAW was passed as a TAX and you guys have the gall to complain as if not given enough time?!? Who builds without full testing?? The cost just for this joke of a website is going to end up costing as much as the ACA itself! People wonder why we don't want the Government running things? Why was CGI involved to begin with? Valerie's daughter has nothing to do with it I'm sure, right? No bidding process when you have an in with the Obama's? HHS and the Administration should be ashamed, instead they seek to blame others, history will show this Administration for what it has been. An Administration of blame and an in-ability to do the hard work.. Pathetic. Bet this either doesn't make it to posting or it gets removed.
Submitted by Vince on
I'm in the tech field and just throwing bodies at code does not necessarily solve your issue. In fact, given the complexity of the code, will probably make it worse. Fix one thing, you break several others. How can you do this without significant regression testing to ensure nothing else breaks.
Submitted by Joe on
the law is a joke, money maker for the insurance/government. get rid of the government and we will be better off.
Submitted by Wayland on
Im trying to get extra health care because i don't want my grilfriends abortions on my parents plan
Submitted by Anonymous on
I can't even get onto the site to attempt the process. Keeps saying it is DOWN...try again later. Sound familiar???
Submitted by Joseph on
How much money is this costing the taxpayers? A complete fiasco and example of why government should not be involved.
Submitted by Chris on
My experience from start to finish has been a total waste of time. 2 weeks and still unable to even get registered to shop for plans. No idea what is available to me.
Submitted by Paul on
Hey I have not been able too log in on healthcare.gov for the last 3 days it still says down for maintenance whats up with that
Submitted by Debra on
I had finally figured out (after 3 weeks) that the error message I received from trying to create an account was itself an error. Thusly, my initial account creation worked and I have an account. I have since applied for coverage. Unfortunately, though, I am unable to shop for coverage, as there is not link, or at least no link which opens to allow me to shop for coverage. After logging in, I have the option to look at "My Application and Coverages." I assume that this link is supposed to open to options for coverage. I am not able to open the link. And I find no other option to open to shop for coverage.....very frustrating.
Submitted by terry w on
I thought the health care calculator worked fine. The website part for applying was down but I got right in on the 800 # with no problems. You might even try the paper application over the digital. Either the phone or paper would have a better outcome until the get the website fixed.
Submitted by crystal on
im tryin to gt insurance they say we have to have this by a certain date but how are we suppose to do that if the site never works but yet we are the ones that will have to pay the penlities for not having it
Submitted by Annonymous on
If you are having difficulty throughout the website, each inidividual county should have an In Person Assistor at your county's local Department of Health and Human Services building. Call, or visit these locations to get better information and help throughout the enrollment process. It can be done!
Submitted by Lisa on
The in-person assistors use the exact same site and have the exact same problems as consumers.
Submitted by Rich on
When will this site be up? I have been trying for two weeks to get an e-mail so I can proceed to the application. My company just sent us a letter stating they are no longer offering a medical plan and that I need to get it through the marketplace. Over 19 million hits and your site goes down - doesn't give me much faith in the rest of the process! I thought that our country was better then this.
Submitted by robert on
It has been 3 weeks since I created an account. I sent in documentation to verify my ID. as of yet no response and everyone I talk to does not know how to check on the status of my 'verification' progress. my ID shows an acct no. but no one knows how to access that number; what good is the number then? One person asked for my ref no but that screen appeared 3 weeks ago and I have no way of accessing it again as they insist I do! The design of this system is terrible and those responsible for it should be held accountable.
Submitted by Rick on
For the last two weeks all I get is a error message that the site is down and to call. When I call I am told I need to get on the web site. What idiot designed this system?
Submitted by mike on
So I get to pay $700 a month with a $5000 deductible. This is $13,400, I have to pay out $13,400 before the insurance pay one cent?
Submitted by Allen on
Mike, if you don't use your health insurance, you're only paying $8,400 per year. You have to look at the bright side, because the law is the law and ObamaCare is THE LAW.
Submitted by Greg on
This site is a joke! Repeal Obamacare!
Submitted by Kelly on
I work on a computer every day, and I consider myself to be fairly capable in handling computer based forms, etc. I am not a computer novice. I have found the site very difficult to use. I have made it to the 'review' section 3 times only to find all the information I had entered (and SAVED AND CONTINUED) was not there. Some was and some wasn't. When I went back to 'edit' I had to do the ENTIRE section again.....arg. Then I got to the end again only to still have the info missing even though it was in my 'edits' when I went back again. Now, the system added a 6th person to my family. I said I had 5. Yes, I am sure I did. ANd I can't get through the section without filling in for this 6th person - which they listed as me for a 2nd time. So, it wants me to list my dependents AGAIN. Done. I'm starting a new account and starting over. HUGELY frustrated at the hours this is taking me and I haven't even gotten past the application process yet.
Submitted by Chris on
having similar problems only it duped one of my dependents 3 extra times. Now I have to fill in the info 4 times and I know that will give a false impression of my dependent status. Still it was unable to complete no matter what I did. I have resubmitted my info countless times with no luck.
Submitted by kim on
Have been trying to apply since day one, after a week called to put application in, since could not on computor, took 2 hours, called back week later, application lost. another application, only took an hour this time. Called back a week later, rep couldnt give me any info,was going to report and have someone call me back last Thursday or Friday. No phone call, one month later, have no ideas what the cost will be.
Submitted by Terry on
As a web developer and CCNA I must say that this web site has been just horrible. It can't verify identity, it won't email me my password reset information and the information was useless. Last week it had two age groups to select your insurance (which I have learned was for a 27 and a 50 year old) and the plans displays only gave the monthly premium. No mention of the deductible, co-pays or co-insurance or the negotiated rates. So not only is the enrollment and information gathering processes all screwed up, it is obvious to me that the UN-affordable Care Act really is a massive oversold government program that is about to screw up everyone's health care.
Submitted by Michelle on
My illegal husband screwed America again and I love it.

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