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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 Angie on
Why is it saying you can't enroll on mobile or tablet now, only on desktop or laptop? I did app on Ipad fine . I've been waiting 3 weeks for someone to call me back for question about why it says Eligible for credit but then says $0 more info need. I need more info on this. Also won't let me get on enroll page at first just wouldn't load now error and I reported this. They say wait til it's fixed now saying I have to do on desktop or laptop which is old & unreliable why can't I still use ipad . They say has to be done online but won't work so what supposed to do? Need insurance for Jan 1 doesn't look promising.
Submitted by Glynis on
WiFi is a problem because if there's any interruption in the connection it causes it to crash.
Submitted by Rose on
So close and yet so far!!!! I was able to get to REVIEW and SIGN before I got kicked off. Nonetheless, I continued to try...9 times!!! AND, each time I tried I had to fill out the app. all over again EACH TIME!! SMASHING MY LITTLE TOE WITH A HUGE HAMMER IS LESS TORTURE THAN THIS!!
Submitted by Lj on
I found that hitting my head against a cement wall works best
Submitted by Glynis on
when you fill out the application be very careful with the format of your answers and follow the examples they give exactly as they look. Also, don't add any decimals to any place they don't, like to hours worked, round up or down.
Submitted by Gregory Williams on
I can't even log in anymore...p.o.s. site. They should have gotten the facebook guys involved!
Submitted by Anonymous on
For tips and tricks on how to move through the screens to enroll in a plan and help troubleshooting the common problems being posted here, Google: "my obamacare success story: It was worth the wait!"
Submitted by Anne on
Someone had posted about Chrome being the best for this site and this seems to be true. With Chrome I was finally able to get through everything and complete enrollment. IE had worked for the initial application but not enrollment and Firefox didn't work well at all. Hopefully this info. will help some others. I just hope the policy info.stays on the site now and goes through to the insurance co. without any problems!!
Submitted by KGHN on
Browser review: I was using Pale Moon, a Firefox derivative. I saw a post that said healthcare.gov does not play well with Firefox. I tried Internet Explorer 8, which was excruciatingly slow. I called the 800-318-2596 support line, and a representative recommended Google Chrome as the best browser for the task. I downloaded and installed Chrome Nov.25th, and managed to complete the data entry that day. (I am still not verified.) Chrome was not slow. I am posting hoping this advice will help other users.
Submitted by notobamaitellthetruth on
how awful you took the power from the agents and the carriers to enroll people they way they always have. I used to be able to call my agent and have everything done in 10 minutes. my agent helped me pick a plan but now neither of us can log on and finish the application. it wont let information entered be changed. what a shock..
Submitted by Glynis on
Direct enrollment with insurers being able to give the subsidy credit is currently possible in TX, OH, and FL as a pilot project as of last Friday. If you don't qualify for a subsidy you can still enroll in a plan with an insurer or broker. Once a mistake is made in an application the only thing you can do at this point is start over with a new account with a new username, new password, and new email address.
Submitted by Pat on
Please address the "stuck" accounts and applications in your next blog. Should we keep trying with these accounts or stay out of the system until we are notified to return? Will they be cleaned-up and rendered usable so we can continue our applications or at some point will we need to create new accounts? It's great that you've improved the system response time but many of us would like to know about our stuck accounts.
Submitted by Kevin on
On Nov. 1, I completed the application process and selected a health plan. My file on healthcare.gov says the process is "complete." However, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia says they have not received anything. My question is, once Dec. 1 rolls around, do I have to reapply using new user name and a different email address -- in other words, start over -- or will my enrollment ever be acknowledged? I talked with someone on the "help" line, who said they couldn't search by my application ID number and name. I refused to give my social security number out over the phone. Can Julie Bataille comment about this please? Or send me an email?
Submitted by Lisa on
It just gets worse. I use to be able to get up to inome now I can't get past the second save and continue question that asks for social security number before I get system is temporarily down and it is slower than ever. Not an improvement for me, I don't believe any of these articles. Unless you live in a state that has their own exchange the federal site still doesn't work.
Submitted by Phyllis on
Why are you not addressing the problems of getting stuck at the tobacco use question and why the people at healthcare.gov are clueless, as well as the supervisors and advanced resolution people'
Submitted by Heather on
What's the plan for the existing bugs that are completely stopping users along the way? Many of us still can't see our eligibility results, have extra dependents showing up, can't make needed changes to our applications or even see them to figure out what the problem is.. I keep setting my communication preferences to mail instead of healthcare.gov, and the site keeps changing it back. That's not helpful considering I still can't see the message center! I finally made another user name because the first one is completely screwed up, and finished the application on the second one in just a few minutes. That didn't help -- can't view these eligibility results, either, and now there's no enroll button.
Submitted by James Wimberley on
Glynis keeps telling users to look for a pdf download, It may show up as an icon in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen. Or look in your default download directory: mine is My Documents>Downloads.
Submitted by Glynis on
For tips and tricks on how to move through the site to enroll in a plan and help troubleshooting the common problems being posted here, Google: "my obamacare success story: It was worth the wait!"
Submitted by Steve on
Who is responsible for giving the completed and submitted phone application and the incomplete web site application the same number? I was given a number for my phone application and it was the same as that on the incomplete web application. I asked how would they tell the difference and the phone person said they could but well they can't! I started this process on 1 Oct and filed a phone application on 12 Oct, refiled on 21 Oct (the phone representative spelled my name wrong throughout the application), refiled 24 Oct (same problems with spelling of name and blanks in application) and finally on 11 Nov a competed supposedly corrected application again was REALLY filed. We have lived all over the world and, never, have we encountered such incompetence even in countries with few resources. As of today I still have not heard anything not by email or by post and no one ever called from advanced resolution.
Submitted by sylvia on
Applied for coverage on Oct. first...called many times after no emails,no followup and didn't know where my application stood. Finally on Nov.17th I called and learned that my application was verified and approved. Had I not called back I would not have known this. There is no continuity in this system and then you get insulted for calling to the Marketplace so often for answers. At this time, November 25th I am told to" hang in there You are almost at the finish line." I still cannot view the insurance choices to make an informed choice;does not show up on my log in because 2 apps have not been merged. Only completed the second one because I was told to start over because so many glitches during opening day were losing some of the info. This has been terribly discouraging to me. I still have no insurance coverage and time is running out for me.
Submitted by Glynis on
To see and compare plans go to valuepenguin.com or healthsherpa.com. You'll be able to see plan details and decide which plan you want so you can call them back and tell them and they can enroll you.
Submitted by Melissa on
The system will still not allow me to correct a typographical error I made when entering my son's social security number. When I called in to the call center, after being asked to give protected information, I was told that the operator's computer had locked up and that I would need to call back. I see very minimal improvement since late October.
Submitted by Margie Barrett on
I have tried to submit my application for over a month. It keeps telling that it is temporarily down. I called the center and they told me to try later at night because fewer people were on. I have tried after 10"00pm and before 6:00am and I still can not finish my application. It always state sign and return. I have not been able to submit an application. I even called and gave my information on the phone and I was told I would receive a notice in the mail, which I still have not received, and I did this in October. When will I be able to finish my application?????
Submitted by Stewart on
I know that each day the site is improving. Keep up the good work.
Submitted by Chris on
Nice comment Barack.