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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 JohnP on
Dear Sirs: Ensure somebody in every department is keeping a log of problems identified and how they were resolved, so the story of how such a massive, complex, difficult software undertaking can be accurately told. FDR, Churchill and top generals made plenty of mistakes during first years of WWII, costing dearly, but persevered and won. Some criticism of ACA sounds like Homer Simpson ridiculing Bart and Lisa for cell phone and wireless networking problems he doesn't comprehend.
Submitted by Mary on
If all these improvements have taken place, why can I STILL not access the application I began on October 2? I have called the chat and the help phone number. The chat folks are sorry for my inconvenience but offer no solution; the live phone help can see my application but cannot access it either in order to help me complete it. Nobody knows what the error codes that appear mean. In addition, I have two notices about the identity verification which I cannot read or open. I sent a copy of my driver's license quite a while ago and it is apparently lost in space. This is all very discouraging to someone who was an ardent supporter of this program. And I wish you'd stop running those "I'm covered" ads till we all can participate!
Submitted by Elaine on
Also receiving error message 500.806 when attempting to set subsidy even though I didn't get a subsidy according to the approval letter. The helpdesk says it's a 'glitch." To anyone listening there is a critical issue here.. people like myself who cannot have a lapse in coverage & must make a decision under other open enrollment plans SOON. It seems I can save $300.00 with a marketplace plan, but I cannot enroll. I absolutely do not believe the 'glitches' will be fixed anytime soon. So, I have moved on to ehealth.com & am comparing plans there. Finally, can only add my disgust that this system is so botched. It is inconceivable that this atrocity was ever released. And you're hearing from someone who supports the concepts of ACA.
Submitted by James Jones on
We have been trying for the last week. Still can't log in. We need this fixed for everyone.
Submitted by Rob again on
I keep getting the error ID; 500.300588 about having problems getting plans information.It's a Geisinger plan FROM YOUR SITE and you are having a problem with the plans information. Talk about selling something you know nothing about!!!! If this ever turns out to be a success it's going to be a miricle
Submitted by Dusty on
How much is this costing the taxpayer? Are you on some kind of budget? Please tell us how much you've spent setting up this website, and how much you still need to spend to get it working.
Submitted by Robert again on
Trying to get enrolled but now the site can't get my plans info.Wow,wow, wow, when are the problems going to end. Terribly Frustrating thats all I can say!!!
Submitted by Anonymous on
Now I'm at the point where it says "having a problem getting the plans information" Problem after problem from the day this site opened. I guess I have no choice but to try later. It has a number to call if I keep getting the message. Just another road block on the way to health insurance!!
Submitted by Marc on
I cannot get beyond the tobacco page, every time I hit enter it cycles to the same page. I am supposedly registered and just have to get to the pick your plan page.
Submitted by John Arizona on
I have never been able to see plans and that includes this morning Nov 29th?
Submitted by Dominick domos30@aol.com on
I chose the simplest path to getting insurance, I'm a one person household who doesn't require a subsidy. The program believes my application is incomplete and has been hopelessly caught in a loop for 6 days. We had to answer only question, "Do I smoke". It seems to think I haven't answered the question, and keeps returning me to it. Calls to the help number have been unable to resolve. There is no method for creating a help ticket or raising my call to a higher level. This is incredibly bad programming. I can't remember having a worse experience and it doesn't seem to be getting any better.
Submitted by Abner on
I work in web development, so I'm not a novice. I created 2 accounts already for this site and both times the site crashed halfway through the process. Please delete information for accounts that are broken. People are trying to come back and they can't. Asking someone to create a new email address for this site is ridiculous. I even tried to do a password reset and it doesn't work. What feces.
Submitted by Deb on
Some of us, who have annual group policies, have to make Open Enrollment decisions in the next 2 weeks. If we don't sign up by the deadline, we won't get another opportunity. It seems we may have to enroll in both (group policy and healthcare exchange policy) and pay premiums for both to avoid any lapse in coverage. On COBRA we are paying 102% of our premiums. We were so excited about signing up on Healthcare.gov but still haven't been able to complete the application. The Live Chat people have been very patient and helpful, and I know the issues are being fixed. But it seems like the wrong people built the website and now need to get out of the way of competent contractors who are doing the fixing. And I'm embarrassed to say my state FAILED to accept ACA funds to build its own exchange and do what is best for local citizens. I hold Governor Walker and his fellow TEA party naysayers responsible for putting us in this dilemma.
Submitted by Philip on
This all should have been done six months ago. Nevertheless, I think the website -- and the program -- will be successful. Oddly, no one seems to be aware of the almost incomprehensible and dysfunctional healthcare system that the ACA is trying to make more functional and rational. In the long run, a single payer system is inevitable.
Submitted by Don on
I am getting this message when I click confirm: error id 500.300588. Does anyone know what this means?
Submitted by Don Buthrow on
I am receiving the same error. I'm freaking out because the deadline was technically two days ago but the news says it's been extended indefinitely due to these problems. This is so frustrating. I tried to Live Chat on healthcare.gov and they're closed "to spend time with family and friends"!!!!! Give me a break! I'm a proud Liberal but this is stretching my faith thin. If we want the country to respect this healthcare law we need to firm it up. I recognize that Republicans have fought the ACA in every way possible, including withholding funding and helping create a strong structure, and Republican Governors have refused to create their own state exchanges which is mind-boggling consider they preach about states' rights. Healthcare.gov was designed to be a portal, not a full-service e-commerce offering. But the lack of customer service is unacceptable. I guess I have to write my Senator and ask her office to help with this? *sigh* --- Error ID:500.300588
Submitted by Martha on
I have been Trying to sign up for almost two weeks now and every time I try to confirm my selections I get this error Error ID:500.300588. Today is the deadline to get coverage the first of the year. I have called customer service and they do not know what is wrong, just to keep trying. Someone help please!
Submitted by David on
The programmers & MANAGERS should be made aware that a large group of people have been left in NO MANs Land due to Identify Verification. A REFERENCE NUMBER is required. I didn't get one and Experian doesn't have one and won't talk to me without it. Uploading identifying documents is a waste of time. I have had no success after several "uploads". I have been waiting and talking to agents since Oct 5. **********THIS IS A MAJOR PROBLEM!!!*********** If this continues, the GOP will certainly try to kill the entire project at the next opportunity.
Submitted by JEP on
Ms. Bataille, are you listening to us? Adding capacity isn't helping those of us who are stuck in the ID verification process. When are you going to fix this problem? ID verification should be the first and most basic fix that you undertake, because without that fix, nothing else matters to those of us who are stuck and can not proceed to view the costs and available options, let alone ever consider purchasing your insurance. What happened to all the documents that we uploaded and mailed to London, KY? Is anyone looking at these documents? What are you doing?
Submitted by Annette on
Been locked in an application since Oct 4th,csr all say be patient,applied online but cannot get to the application to enroll in a plan,also,told I did not qualify for subsidies but no one can explain why,I do fall in the required level so they blame our governor.who can afford the full premium living on disability,I am diabetic and still cannot get insurance.
Submitted by Matt on
I think your problem with not qualifying for a subsidy, despite having income that would seemingly allow for premium subsidy credits does indeed have to do with your states governor and legislature (and a technical ruling by the US Supreme Court). The healthcare reform law was written to offer new government coverage help to those making under 400% of the federal poverty level (so those making up to 4 times the poverty level would be eligible for government help in paying for insurance). The law, as written, envisioned those making up to 138% of the federal poverty level enrolling in their states Medicaid program under a large expansion of the program included in the law. The law then set up new premium credits on a sliding scale that increase with need. The scale begins with those at the poverty level and people slightly above it getting the largest premium credit and the credit getting smaller until those who earn over 400% not qualifying for a credit. Every state was expected to expand their medicaid programs as the law threatened to withhold all federal medicaid dollars if a state failed to at least cover all state residents making under 138% of poverty level (previously the federal gvmnt made no requirements to cover individuals under 65 and without minor children regardless of how low their income was and only required states to provide medicaid to parents with minor children if their income was well below poverty level. The fed gvmnt had stricter requirements on states to cover children and seniors). The federal gvmnt reimburses states on average 58% of their medicaid costs, loosing this funding by not expanding the program would devastate state finances so all states were basically expected, if not directly required, to expand the program. The Supreme Court ruling that mostly upheld the constitutionality of the reform law made one significant change, however, it ruled the federal gvmnt could not cut off medicaid funds to the states which they were receiving prior to the laws enactment if a state failed to expand its program. The federal gvmnt would only be allowed to withhold any new funds authorized in the law. This freed up states to decide not to expand and not fear loosing a huge amount of their public health funding from the federal gvmnt. The federal gvmnt now would have to convince states to expand with only "carrots" and no "sticks." Those "carrots" were in the form of the Feds pledging to pay 100% of the cost of new enrollees for 3 yrs then gradually dropping to 90% of the cost of new enrollees (compared to the Feds paying on average 57% of the costs for those previously enrolled in medicaid). Many states chose to expand, including several run my republican governors, seeing not only a public health benefit in expanding coverage for no costs the first 3 yrs and then very little costs thereafter, with the Feds giving $90 for every $10 the state spends on those newly eligible, but also a potential state budgetary benefit, even after states begin paying 10% (states could divert some funding currently spent on things like state programs for addiction treatment, free clinics, aid to county hospitals, ect. To an expanded medicaid program and therefore in the process get the federal gvmnt to pay 90% of the cost for some services the state was already providing. In other words, spend the same amount as before, or even less and get full coverage to the low income population in the process rather that wasteful, inefficient ad hoc programs).. Unfortunately for those that live in the states that have failed to expand as of yet, it's their own citizens, like yourself, who suffer, not to mention the hospitals in the state, as the way the law was written, premium credits for private coverage on the exchange begin at 100% of poverty level, so those making less are still shut out of the market. There is definite irony in the fact that those making over 100% of poverty level qualify for premium assistance but those making less do not, but that was because it was expected that this group would be enrolled in free coverage thru medicaid. There is a simple legislative fix that could be enacted which is simply having the first bracket in the premium credit sliding scale adjusted to begin at 0% federal poverty level rather than 100%. I can see this happening potentially in the future, but unfortunately, with the current polarized gridlock in congress and with many in the GOP still refusing to make any sort of change to the law that could improve it/fix things/make adjustments if that change doesn't involve repealing, defunding or delaying I don't see it happening in the near future. Once republicans accept that a full repeal and defunding is not politically viable (the hoopla over those canceled individual policies shows this.. If the GOP got its dream and repealed the entire law, millions of people will loose coverage and millions of others would loose new expanded benefits, only this time many of those people with canceled policies won't have any other options but to go uninsured.. And if the media turned a couple million people getting cancelation notices into a huge firestorm, even though over half those people will now qualify for gvmnt tax credits which will lower their premiums compared to today while still offering those people expanded benefits and protections, imagine the firestorm if tens of millions of people loose coverage, only many, if not most, of those people would have absolutely no other options for getting basic coverage (they wouldn't be complaining about a higher deductible, they'd be complaining about loosing all options and loosing hope..I can imagine the news stories now of people with pre-existing conditions getting dropped and having nowhere to go to get covered)..it's just not realistic to think this is politically viable. Once a majority of the GOP understands this, the affordable care act can go on to be like all other pieces of legislation and be amended from year to year to make adjustments to fit the current reality or any issues that needs fixing.. Last couple things I'd say is I would write/email your governor and legislature in your state telling your story and urging them to expand medicaid. If the law starts to become more accepted and less a hot button topic more states will likely decide to expand the program (Virginia May expand in June, Pennsylvania is considering expansion and the republican governor in Florida supports expansion but has yet to convince the legislature, many assume that as soon as Maine's governor is out of office the state would quickly expand). And I saw that you said you live off of disability, if this is the case and your permanently disabled, after receiving disability for 2 yrs you qualify for Medicare. So you may want to look into that..
Submitted by Marc on
Oct 4th I was able to complete an application. Oct 5th I logged in and saw we were approved for a subsidy. YEAH. But since Oct 5th I have NOT been able to Log In again to actually BUY insurance. I enter my log in name and password, hit log in and it comes right back to the log in screen, over and over and over again in a loop. I have cleared my cache, turned off pop-up blocker, rebooted, tried Explorer, Firefox, Chrome and even my smart phone, had my password reset, talked to Live Chat AND the 800 number 5 times and still I cannot get LOGGED IN. The 800 number folks can see my application has been approved and they keep saying they will send a trouble ticket but nobody responds. I had such high hopes and was telling everyone who would listen that this was going to be great. Don't I feel the fool now!
Submitted by Shelia on
How about adding a feature for longer waits to leave a phone number and have someone call the person back?
Submitted by sue on
I recently obtained a job n October in a small tax office call center. It's a full time (thru the tax season and back to part-time/thru the end of '14) I haven't had health insurance in almost 3 years and heard I need to enroll by Dec. 15 for January 2014 coverage (age 51 Medicaid/Medicare). I am in the low income poverty bracket with a pre existing condition. I need to get an appt. with an assisted help for my area....with comprehensive coverage for dental and eye care (can't afford glasses to get GOOD at my assigned call lists you didn't have a number or anything listed for my area) HELP please.....signed...untrained and uninsured
Submitted by Anonymous on
If you have Medicaid and Medicare then you are not uninsured. Please clarify?