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Adding Capacity

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Over the weekend, we implemented software fixes focused on enhancing the user experience, improving enrollment, and streamlining the workflow for agents, brokers and call center representatives.

Additionally, we added storage capacity in the CMS Data center. This infrastructure improvement will enable increased processing power as more users move through the system. 

It’s likely that as we move forward we’ll find additional glitches and experience intermittent periods of sub-optimal performance, when the system may be slow or not responsive. Just this morning, due to parts of the system not communicating effectively, the application and enrollment tools on HealthCare.gov was unavailable for approximately one hour.  Our tech team quickly resolved the issue and got the system back on track. The Data Services Hub remained fully operational.

We’ve made measurable progress in addressing two issues:  Improving the user experience and managing capacity shortfalls and volume.

In terms of improving the site experience, the vast majority of users will not experience the slow response times, error messages, and system outages that characterized their experience in October.  The system will not work perfectly on December 1st, but it will operate much better than it did on October 1st.

In terms of capacity, by the end of the month HealthCare.gov will be able to operate at the capacity that was originally intended: a rate of approximately 50,000 users on the site at the same time. This means the system will be able to accommodate more than 800,000 visits a day from consumers who are seeking information, filling out applications, shopping, and enrolling.

There will be times that volume on HealthCare.gov will exceed this demand, and we are preparing for that. If we experience extraordinary demand, consumers may not be immediately able to complete the application. They will be queued, in order to ensure a smoother process, and will experience some wait time.

We will continue to work every day to ensure that every American who wants it has access to these new, quality, coverage options.


This post is no longer accepting comments. If you want to learn more about the Affordable Care Act, please visit hhs.gov/healthcare. If you have question about or need assistance with health insurance enrollment, please visit https://www.healthcare.gov/contact-us/.

Join the Conversation


Submitted by Ashley on
This is still happening and it's the most annoying thing ever. I signed up originally for an April 1st start date. I noticed that I had selected the wrong dental coverage selected (my dentist wasn’t participating in that group and I wanted to change it before my coverage started). I saw the plan that I wanted and went to change it to the correct one. Then the dreaded: Error ID:500.300588 appeared! I called customer service 3 times. I was on hold for almost 2 hours in 1 phone call (I was being transferred after the original person had no idea what I was talking about and she wouldn’t put me on hold to see if anyone else was having that problem). Regardless I was on hold to talk to someone else when I decided to look myself too. Thank god for this site. So.. I followed Eric's directions. I "reported a life change" and didn’t change anything. That didn’t work. So I “reported a life change” and put mine and my husband’s middle names in the application in both the name portion and in our social security number section. This time it worked! No Error ID:500.300588!!! Don’t’ waste your time and call customer service. I know it’s not their fault but they have no idea what they’re talking about.
Submitted by Jeremy on
This worked perfectly! I saw the error and immediately looked up the code and found this. Thank you for writing this and me not having to waste days and hours trying to find a solution!
Submitted by Anonymous on
Error ID:500.300588 Please fix this problem
Submitted by Damon on
Thank you, Eric! Your solution works.
Submitted by Roxane on
Error Code 500.300588 Thank you Julie and Eric! I followed Eric's (from New Mexico) lead too. I hit the "change of events/life". The only thing I changed was adding a middle initial to my name. FINALLY, after filling out ten different applications and with no luck with customer "service", I was successful!
Submitted by Kyra on
Finally, I just completed (confirmed) my health insurance enrollment. I kept getting the error message: 500.300588 more times than I can count. So, as one of you suggested, I did a "Change of Events/Life" instead of starting a new application. I also used a different browser (Chrome). I had to re-enter some of the same information, but not to the extent of re-doing the whole application and at the end (Confirm) it worked. I did the sign and review, then I chose and enrolled into a plan, I personally declined the dentist and I confirmed!!!!! Good Luck All! If you are patient- it will come...
Submitted by Julie on
After trying for days and continuing to get error 500.300588 and talking to several representatives that had no clue, I found this forum and saw Eric from New Mexico's comment... For whatever reason it worked for me... Scroll down just a bit to find it. I had put in about 15 applications by that point and had tried changing the information up a little in a bunch of different ways. This finally worked. On a PC, click the orange firefox tab and on the blue side on the right, the second option down is history, hover over that & it pulls up a second window, 2nd option down is clear recent history and follow the rest of Eric's instructions. Good Luck!!!
Submitted by Alyce on
I have been trying all week to enroll in health insurance and have completed 3 applications myself and 1 by phone with the Help Line. Every time, I get stuck somewhere in the enroll section. One day it was the dental coverage--which I didn't want, but wouldn't let me proceed without selecting, according to the representative. Most days, it is the final confirm step. I click it and it gives me some version of error 500 in a big red box and then the padlock of death so I can't do anything. I have had 500.300 and 500.000999 most recently. I have deleted applications and started over. I have had the Help Center rep. do it for me. (He got the same error, much to his surprise.) Today, finally, a rep. told me that they she has submitted several "feedbacks" with this same problem in the past few days and has heard nothing back from tech support on a fix or how to advise consumers. She put me on hold to try to get answer, but only came back with apologies and the usual advice to try again later. One day, a rep. told me that the site had actually been down all morning! This is really unacceptable.
Submitted by TimJ on
Hi Alyce, can you describe the steps you took in detail when you got to the 500.000999 error? Namely, I have a few questions: What internet browser (and version) were you using? What operating system? (windows 7, mac os, windows 8, etc?) Are you having the 500.000999 error when you try to terminate an application or when you try to enroll? I suggest starting fresh with the Chrome browser in Incognito mode, and let me know if that works for you.
Submitted by Raushi on
None of that browser, OS, info makes any bit of difference. The problem is backend related. I have experienced the same error 500.300588 as everyone else. What appears to work, and worked for me, was to remove the dental plan from the application. I used the same browser on the same laptop. Nothing was different. For 10 days I tried. Several hours on the phone with customer service (sadly they are clueless, but they tried) can only enter the same information we can enter. I was even told there is not technical support and all they could do was to submit a ticket to CMS. What a Joke! Now lets see how I can get dental insurance.
Submitted by Miami on
Followed Eric in New Mexico's advice and it worked.
Submitted by PauJos on
I am getting the same error code: 500.300588. I did a chat session, and they said I had to call in, so I did. She got the error, and said I would have to remove that application and fill out another one. I just went through and completed a whole new application, and there it is--the bid red box with the error code. I refresh the page over and over, but nothing works. You wait a half hour, an hour... Ridiculous!
Submitted by Janie on
I have been trying to enroll for past two days. Just like the others, I am getting to the very last step to confirm and I get error code 500.000999. I have called and called and lived chatted. I am told to keep trying and keep deleting my app and restart. I think I know the questions in order and can enter it record time by now. I don't understand why there is some IT help.
Submitted by Mike on
I've been getting the error ID:500.300588 for 2 days now and apparently it's been occurring since October. Called the marketplace line and chat but they get the same error and just use the excuse that the volume is high. I'm trying to get insurance but no one is fixing the errors with the site. I think we should sue the gov for all our wasted time so we can use the money to pay for insurance directly from the providers. Stupid government contractors.
Submitted by Matt A in Oklahoma on
I've been trying since October to apply, but this website sabotages every attempt I've made. Tonight, I removed and re-applied for the eighth time. Everything *seems* to work perfectly--I get my eligibility results, I choose medical and dental plans, and I get to the very last step. Literally, THE last step...the "sign and confirm" the whole thing before submitting it. And wham, I get that same stupid error id:500.300588 in a red box. I just got off the phone with tech support (an hour-long call), where the guy confessed to me that there are about 400,000 applications that can't finish the process because of this error. He tried entering the info for me, one-by-one, and the application failed. Error id:500.300588. So far, not a single tech has any idea why this happens or how to fix it. As a result, y family has NO health coverage because for four months now, techs have pathetically repeated the same advice: remove your application and start a new one. So now I'm on to #9. Four months of this nonsense. No health coverage. I should add, that these press releases and media statements claiming to have fixed the website only infuriate me, since it's so blatantly not true. error id:500.300588 error id:500.300588 error id:500.300588 error id:500.300588 error id:500.300588 FIX THE DAMN THING.
Submitted by Randall on
Error ID:500.300588 keeps me from completing my application for days
Submitted by Julie on
Eric - You rock! It worked for me too, after several days of frustration! Thank you!!!
Submitted by dianne on
It worked! I went to "life changes" and did it all over again that way. Thanks!
Submitted by Eric in New Mexico on
After pouring over this and other comments about Error ID:500.300588, I finally got past it! Here's my fix: 1. Using Firefox, I went to Preferences (I'm on a Mac, might be "Options" or similar on a PC) > Privacy, then under the "History" heading, click on "clear your recent history". I cleared everything. 2. I went to the left sidebar as someone had suggested, and chose "Report a Life Change". I chose "change application information". I went through and filled out everything exactly as before. (The only exception is that I entered my and my wife's SSN. I do NOT think this was the issue though, since the previous time I had filled out the application, I DID enter our SSN's, and got the same Error ID:500.300588.) 3. I proceeded to "Resume Application", followed the steps, and chose my plan. When I got to the part about Dental Insurance, I did something differently: The previous time (and possibly the time before when I also got the same error ID), I checked both boxes for each of our names, and chose the "No I don't want dental insurance" (or whatever that option says). I read the instructions carefully and it said check the boxes of those who DO want dental insurance. Even though the system let me past last time, I suspect this could have possibly been the problem. I did NOT check the box for either of our names, and clicked the "No I don't want dental insurance" (or whatever that option says). (This also corresponds to what someone else in comments on this site said about dental insurance being the issue for him.) Got to the final stage when I check the disclaimers and digitally sign, waiting for the Error ID:500.300588, but this time I got through to the part that talks about payment! After weeks of trying, hours and hours with customer service reps (who apologize but offer no real solutions), several applications with this and other issues, and finally searching online for a solution like I do with any troubleshooting... it finally worked! Big thanks to Jerry who submitted the part about the "report a life change", and Brian who talked about the dental insurance options being his issue. If you find a fix please report it here for others! Hope it helps! -Eric
Submitted by Evelyn on
Thank you! I had the same problems. This worked! And I really appreciated the suggestion to Change a Life Event rather than delete the entire application and start over again, without knowing if that would even work. Thank you for crowd-sourcing this solution. Now, why can't the help line share this information and help everyone else that's in limbo-land?
Submitted by Oxana on
Thank you, Eric! Change "report of life change" did work for me as well!
Submitted by Myers on
Worked! Thanks for taking the time to document this.
Submitted by Joe on
Just did what you posted and was accepted. Thank you so much Eric for your post. You know how to work the site better than the government does.
Submitted by Karen on
Thank you so much Eric!! I did what you recommended, and it worked!! I was finally able to get all the way through.
Submitted by Shanna on
Today has been about the worst day in existence. Let's just say that since I created my account there has been nothing but issues -- and this has been ongoing since October. I've been trying to complete enrollment for myself since Oct. 1, 2013. Every time I do anything, I get Error ID:500.300588, instructing me to log out, then log in and try again. I thought maybe there was issue with something in my application process. Nope. Then I was told that because I'm disabled and Medicare kicks in in April, that I'm not eligible for a coverage of any kind to cover me for the time until it starts. -_- Then I am told that I can get coverage, no problem. So, after the error message's millionth appearance on my application enrollment process, I called again. Four calls later after being hung up on three of the four times, I get someone who has about as much internet experience as Abraham Lincoln. -_- She goes through the whole process with me, gets the same error message. Tries to ask her supervisor for help. Error message. Informs me to delete my current enrollment application, and start over. But, in this new one, I should type everything in CAPS. I didn't have the heart to tell her that typing in caps has no relevant impact on any application process, whatsoever. Nor did I have the heart to tell her this is probably the tenth application process I've done, with deleting the previous applications and starting all over. Hung up. Banged my head against a brick wall. Felt slightly better. Then reality hit. Error ID:500.300588 -_-