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Best Practices for Improvement

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Improvements and enhancements for HealthCare.gov and the Health Insurance Marketplace continue to advance every day.

Yesterday, we reported slowness on the site and some difficulties with users being able to effectively log in.  Today, the system is stable but remains slow for users.  The tech team continues to work to troubleshoot items as they arrive.

Yesterday we experienced new stresses on the system further downstream in the application than we have previously experienced, revealing new capacity issues.  Overnight, the team added hardware to help alleviate that pressure. QSSI, our general contractor, is further assessing overall capacity needs throughout the system as part of our ongoing effort to make improvements.

In addition, QSSI has established a new protocol for addressing items on the punch list. The new protocol includes focusing integrated teams on specific software issues within the application and enrollment process – this includes things such as eligibility, enrollment, and plan compare in particular – prioritizing the fixes in each category and fully testing them prior to implementation.

The performance teams are planning multiple software releases per week going forward.  This will help us execute fixes with the necessary pace and precision.

Because performance teams are dedicated by category, they are becoming increasingly proficient in developing fixes quickly and building an ongoing pipeline of improvements for implementation.  If a fix becomes too complex to deploy rapidly, it is assigned to a dedicated escalation team to address.

This protocol is a best practice approach from the private sector that will help us make progress on our punch list and continuously improve the functionality and performance of HealthCare.gov.


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/.

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Submitted by susan on
so, where do I find this notice available about your Marketplace eligibility. ?
Submitted by Sherouk on
I appreciate that the team is doing all it can to fix healthcare.gov. Just curious what the projected timeline is for when it should be fully functional. I know that some people have been able to sign up through their states, but mine is not one that currently allows that option. Also, does this mean that the deadlines to sign up through the marketplace will be extended? If so, until when, I wonder.
Submitted by Adam on
Hmmm? Really no updates relating to healthcare.gov fixes over the last 9 days? Is this a prelude to a Nov 30 announcement that the site still does not work? President Obama is being pounded by the right mercilessly. Fox News programs are just brutal. Just make the site work and put a stop to this.
Submitted by James on
Any update since the last entry on Nov 7 on this blog? If this web site had worked from the start, Pres Obama could have told the 5 MM people who got cancellations to just stop whining, go to the site and buy a new and better policy that would be cheaper. But since the site didn't work, he put out this "fix" today where the insurance companies are going to be allowed to magically undo the cancellations.Good luck doing that prior to the Dec 15 cutoff to get insurance for Jan 1 . So bad technology has managed to derail a perfectly well intended healthcare policy that would have eliminated all the past abuses in the broken individual market.
Submitted by Jamey on
Wow. $600M+ for this. Wow. Underwhelming ...
Submitted by Danny on
So no Blog entry to tout the whopping 26,000 people who have managed to enroll via healthcare.gov ? And the definition of enrolled used for those numbers captures people who just have a plan in the SET box of the Enroll-to-do-list and have not pressed Review and Confirm yet. That is pretty wishful thinking. You would have to enroll 50,000 a day each day until Dec 15 for the 5 MM people who had there insurance cancelled to replace it with this. There is no way the software, hardware and supporting human infrastructure for healthcare.gov could possibly do this. What is going to happen?
Submitted by Steve Turano on
As an Pinellas County insurance agent trying to get families coverage, my recent experience has been insurance companies are doubling and tripling the prices of policies starting Jan. 1st. whether purchased through the exchange or not. This is forcing families and individuals to purchase policies off the exchange and starting before Jan. 1st. This allows companies to not cover pre-existings. Once Jan.1st arrives my fear is that companies will continue to artificially keep policy prices high in an effort to either scare the public or to add even more revenue to their already thick bottom lines.
Submitted by Mimi on
For the next entry in the blog above, I hope CMS will indicate if the form 834 data feed problems to the insurance companies has been fixed yet. Users need to know this since it is senseless to press the final Confirm button on the Enroll to-do list screen until we can be confident that uncorrupted info will be sent to the insurance company that we select. The fact that the Sebelius numbers for counting Enrollee's is not going to use actual paid up policies but instead count everyone who has selected a plan in the 2nd box of the Enroll to-do list screen is really mis-leading. Until your info goes to the insurance company and you have paid, you have not really enrolled in a plan. And if the web site is still so screwed up that this does not work at all, then nobody has really enrolled.
Submitted by Will on
I am not at all suprised by this fiasco. The federal government can take any good idea and break it. Then spend twice as much fixing it to the low standards of the people within federal government.
Submitted by Lynn on
I just tried to advance my application again that I've been working on for 2 months. It still freezes in the Income section and won't save and continue. There's been no progress on this for 2 months
Submitted by Simone on
My account says, "You have a notice available about your Marketplace eligibility."--but I have no way to find that notice. Also I am waiting for a call to report a life change so I can shop for coverage-the site says that I will be able to report life changes online starting 11/15/13. My elgibility report is visible on my ipad, but not on a PC. The report lists all family members separately as far as their eligibility but I can't seem to shop for plans for anyone. We are a family of 5 and will lose coverage through my work on January 1, 2014. The children are 20, 18 and 17. This has been a very frustrating process. In order to edit 1 item for 1 of the 5 people I have to START OVER entirely. This is exhausting. It took over 2 hours to enroll and then I expected to be able to review my last few responses before submitting and couldn't--I answered the end of coverage question incorrectly. We lose coverage January 1. The site has several places where it appears there are links and their are none. If things are still under construction then IT NEEDS TO STATE THAT CLEARLY when you first enter your log in.
Submitted by David on
Today is 11/19/2013 and the "report a life change" section still says it will be available on 11/15/2013. So much for having things under control. We are adopting a child, but it is not final. There was not an option for adoption in progress in order to add the baby ad a dependent. I need to go back and tell it that he is a dependent in order to see if we qualify for subsidies, but I can't do that. I sure hope this FUBAR site isn't a sign of things to come for our healthcare.
Submitted by Rob on
I cannot believe that there are people actually trying to fix this site.I would think the first thing to fix would be to just allow people to create an account. Without that you can't do anything. What the heck are you actually working on because I haven't seen any improvements since day one!! Other than taking a couple pictures off and adding some words here and there nothing has changed. What a joke!! I think someone on the inside wants this to fail and they are doing a good job!! If you are not smart enough and can't do the job , get out off the way and let someone else fix it . If it can't be fixed tell the president to scrape it and start over!! What a waste of money, time, and energy!!!
Submitted by Ray on
Got up early this morning (eastern time) after hearing all the good news that the site is processing 16,000 applications per hour. Since 6:00 a.m. I have tried numerous time to "Create an Account." When I press the button, NOTHING happens. Later I discovered a message on the homepage that maintenance is being performed and try in the afternoon. If you are not able to sign up, it is a 5 minute program job (at most) to create a popup to inform your "customer" that you cannot signup at this time. I am a supporter of Obama-care and sincerely hope these "gliches" get fixed. I run and maintain an eCommerce site that is very consumer friendly and shocked at the level of indifference that seems to permeate from the folks involved. I called the toll free number and was told by the operator that I could fill out the application via phone, but that I would have to sign up online. When I asked what would be the point of applying online if I still can't log in to the system, she acknowledged that its a problem. It seems that the healthcare navigators have the task as Public Relations liaison for the mess created through no fault of their own. I called my insurance company and they said they can process my application but it can't be completed until the website works. This is very frustrating.
Submitted by Sami on
Submitted verification of immigration status online over 2 weeks ago but still no feedback. How long is verification supposed to take? Also had provided document numbers online during the application but perhaps the system linking back to SSA and USCIS is not working?
Submitted by KJ on
Still cannot create an account no matter how many times I click the button or what time I do it. Online Chat comes up but goes no where! The informational pages are helpful and very user friendly. The whole website is very user friendly and I have been "cruising" to see what it will do. Nice work .
Submitted by sam on
Sorry to say this, but better get ready because this titannic ship wreck is going down. With not enough life jackets or life boats available it doesn't look pretty. anchors away matee!! have a nice swim!!
Submitted by Pat on
Face it, its all over. Fold up tent , shut it down and get the circus out of town. Tell the replubicans they won and the dems can go into hiding the next 3 years. I thought Carter was bad but this is now making him look pretty good. Wow, I never thought I would see the dems bring themselves down this bad.
Submitted by Robert on
11/12/13 still can't create an account. Sorry Barack , I still support you but I now believe you and this terrible website are going down . Maybe the people trying to fix it are republicans, who knows. But in any case you tried your best . It just hurts to see something this big fail so bad!!! Possibly congress can move the next election up a couple years and you can just get out of town. It just doesn't look good at all as I watch the hope and change fade away. So sad to watch!!
Submitted by Steve on
Personally, I believe that the database is corrupt and can't be repaired. If healthcare.gov customer service can't pull up the records that are stuck on something by ID# or phone number then the database is toast. Adding more records is the worst thing to do at this point, even if it's possible to add accounts and applications. The database has to be purged, but I think I know why they don't want to do that, is because they are not sure if re-submitting records would change the corruption of the records and fields.
Submitted by Sue on
Seriously - you have just now set up a "new protocol for addressing items". In QA we call this a bug tracking and triage. Wow. Maybe you should have used professionals.
Submitted by abby on
cannot delete info and start over
Submitted by Mark on
It asks me to complete my application. Specifically the Tobacco Use question. I answer no, click continue and instead of showing me plans to choose from, it brings me back to the screen that tells me to complete my application.
Submitted by sylvia on
I have tried since October first to apply on the Healthcare.gov site. I finally completed the application and signed electronically.That is as far as I have gotten. I am yet to be"verified." When or how long until I will be able to select a plan after this occurs? I have tried online and by phone to get the necessary info......still waiting.
Submitted by John on
STILL waiting for my uploaded AND mailed in proof of ID to be verified. I have been waiting over a MONTH for these doc's to be looked at and my ID verified.