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Making a difference in how people find health information, today and into the future.

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/.

Join the Conversation


Submitted by Kathy in Texas on
As others have said, verifying identity is broken. This should not be a problem, given that local, state, and federal governments have had me on file for 58 years. Now I can't be found in the system??? I bet the IRS could find me in a heartbeat. As requested, I uploaded a copy of my driver's license and social security card. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. It's been a month, and my application is still Pending. Where did my email go? Do you have it, or does some criminal? I called for assistance and was referred to the credit agency that verifies identifies. They sent me right back to you for a reference number. I was told there isn't a reference number, just mail in my information, because the email may not have been received. How about a "resubmit information" button on the site? I support Obamacare 100%, but this is a disaster.
Submitted by Rob on
Why not just fix this stupid, worthless, frustrating site so I COULD JUST CREATE AN ACCOUNT!!! I'VE TRIED CLOSE TO A THOUSAND TIMES and the results are the same!! CANNOT CREATE AN ACCOUNT AT THIS TIME. People say the site is getting better, but for who!! I guess its better for the republicans because they want it to fail. I know if people can't even create an account it will definitly fail. I know I've wasted so much time on this I'm starting to think it is going to fail!!
Submitted by Lillian on
Please fix the display problem: review eligibility results button displays a blank page: URL is showing www.healthcare.gov/ee-rest/auth/OH/en_US/DocumentManagementEE/DocumentFromECM?fileIdentifier=null The fieldentifier is showing as null insteald of the unique identifer of the requestor. When will this problem be fixed?
Submitted by chas on
I am another one who is stuck at the view eligibility button. Clicking this brings me back to my application, Third time i filled out all inf and keeps bringing me back or say your app. is complete please come back another time to get in to site i am really frustrated by this filling all this info out time and again and they can not show me any plans. Last week did call them and they said they would rush me some paper work out but still waiting.
Submitted by Chuck on
Accounts created way back in the beginning of October are still not able to log in...receive an invalid login data response. When using Forgot Your Password option for that account, it prompts for username and correctly sends email to the associated email account. However, the link in the email to rest the password does not work...it takes you to a page that says the marketplace was unable to locate a profile that matches the information you entered. These accounts are still locked up.
Submitted by Carolyn on
yes there has been problems but who ever thought that you would receive the numbers the first day.the computer does not care if you belong to either party. this has never been done in our country before. it would have helped if everyone was for it. we may not all like it but there are many that need it and those that don't will be glad it is here if they lose their jobs.I HAVE READ THE OTHER COMMENTS AND AS FOR AS EVERYONE HAS STATED IS TRUE BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY ARE NOT TRYING TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS.IFTHEY HIRE MORE PEOPLE TO KEEP YOU FROM WAITING THEN THEY ARE WASTING TAXPAYERS MONEY AND IF YOU THINK IT IS SO BAD DONT PARTICIPATE GET THE PENALTY. YOU ARE STANDING UP FOR YOUR BELIEFS. IF IT HAD BEEN BUSH OR REAGAN IT WOULD YOU BE MORE UNDERSTANDING. LET US MEET FIVE YEARS FROM NOW AND SEE HOW WE FEEL
Submitted by Daniel on
Can't even get the "create account" button to work... Smh
Submitted by Kat on
I admit I am starting to freak out right about now. I have tried, and failed, to submit a completed application SEVEN TIMES in the last month. Five online, twice by phone -- even better, the sixth time (by phone) I was told the application had gone through, but when I received no info by mail as promised, I called back to discover that it hadn't, and in fact it wanted me to answer additional questions which I wasn't asked the first time around. I either lose my coverage (individual plan, self-pay, no employer to cover me here) or face a hike in premiums that I can't afford at the end of the year. I NEED new coverage by then, and I will need the subsidies only available through the marketplace. Is there any estimate for when the application process will be working? Would I be better off opting for the Luddite version and submitting the paper application? Can you even process a paper application? My most recent attempt-by-phone failed because the rep's computer wouldn't let her verify and submit my application, either.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Saw "You have a notice available about your identity verification." when logged in, but nowhere to find the notice, WTF. Stuck on the ID verification for a week.
Submitted by Kelly on
Tried 100 times or more with help from professionals and on my own . I have yet been able to set up an account. Times tried have been every possible hour even setting an alarm to do it in the middle of nite. Fix What fix and when I' m trying in the state of Michigan. So unworthy is this.
Submitted by James on
Still can't log in anymore. Let in the insurance companies who are participating in the marketplace do the complete enrollment process. There plans, prices and subsidy estimates are on their website. They do everything now but award the subsidies. They can award tentative subsidies and adjustments can be made when the enrollee files his or her 2014 tax return. A 2014 tax filing will be necessary anyway to reconcile discrepancies .Get us off the website and let the insurance companies start the entire enrollment process.
Submitted by Cindy on
I am stuck at the view eligibility stage. I click on it and get a seperate popup browser window that stays blank. In the address line, it has a string with identifier=null. i have tried live chatting and they do not know what to tell me. They keep suggesting I download an application or call to apply. I am frustrated because I already took the time to apply and it has been approved. I just want to know what is available to me. Hopefully this information can help you pinpoint some of the issues that need attention.
Submitted by Phil on
You folks are doing great and important work for the good of America. Your service will be long remembered after the smoke and storm of today has passed. Having been part of implementing several multi user/web-based/GUI databases about 1 millionth the size of THIS site over my own career in public service, I see no significant problems that can't be addressed. It's just code. It will take time. Be patient. I have been certified Eligible since 10/05, and am only a step or two away from enrollment. Somehow there are two applications under my one app number, but that probably was my fault during initial steps of entering data bon 10/03. There should be no issue having advanced tech delete the bad application. I HAVE, however, selected a plan for my wife and myself under the other application and see that it is checked off on my Application ToDo list. Woo who. I see improvements every day. Again, thank you for your service.
Submitted by Andrea on
Tech guys- how do you know where the problems are? I cannot get beyond the Family Info section. Even though each section says "Save and Continue", it doesn't save because when I get to the end of section 5 and click "Save and Continue", it does nothing- goes no where. Log out, try later- same problem- re-enter or click through all the same information to come to dead stop! Wish there was a "Report a Problem" button. This has been my problem since Oct. 13th. Have talked to Live Chat three times- their solutions: call the 1-800 number (did that. Did entire application over the phone! Great. Never got eligibility confirmation and after third call to inquire about status, the agent tells me they can't find the application done over the phone, only the incomplete one started online. FYI- folks on the 1-800 are very responsive, but lost application is another issue you need to look into.) Next Chat recommendation- use Chrome. Did. Same problem. Next recommendation- do paper application. If the efiling isn't working and the 1-800 system loses my application, you can understand my hesitancy to believe the paper application is the solution.
Submitted by Jenni-ann Littsey on
I have been locked out of my account for more than 10 weeks, I need to access my application to make needed changes and I still can't get past the log in page. I have had my account unlocked at your end and still not able to access it at any time of day. I have been sent 2 new passwords and neither works. You need to improve the password controls so we can change them to what we desire.
Submitted by mike on
I give up.
Submitted by mike on
Published after approval??? lmao!
Submitted by mike on
I have tried so many times to just log on to the website. I even called and the person that answered the phone absolutely knew nothing about anything. Is this for real?
Submitted by Debra on
I am having trouble advancing on the website while trying to apply to see is my family is eligible for coverage. It stays in a loop and asks the same questions over and over again about my dependents. I now have about 20 listings on the left side of the application.....I would like to have it reset or start over again,but it won't let me....there is not a button to click to end the app.
Submitted by Paul on
Four days ago I FINALLY was able to get to the completed stage, selected plans, and the green buttons came up to pay. When I clicked on the green buttons, both sent me out to non-existent (error) pages on the Blue Cross Blue Shield website and Delta Dental website. So I haven't been able to pay. Sooooooo I once again called and once again put in a "ticket" to the advanced resolution center. Of course I had been referred to the advanced resolution center on October 22 regarding their non-response to the information I sent in to - in their words - verify my 2014 income (not to state the obvious here but one cannot verify their 2014 income they can only estimate it - which I already had done; in response I sent them a W-2 from 2012 which is the only thing I can do since we have no 2013 records yet; there is some mighty STUPID wording on a site which asks you to verify your 2014 income. I am grateful for this coverage and the subsidies sooooo much but this has, and continues to be a nightmare. Now all I need to do is pay for my first month's premium but they can't event come up with a way for me to do that.
Submitted by Robert on
I got the eligibility OK however the next two buttons are locked and can not proceed forward with the application. I called the 800 number and they said they could not help with the issue.
Submitted by Max on
Yesterday, we went to our pharmacy to fill a routine prescription for levothyroxine, on of the cheapest medications, for a routine thyroid problem. The cost went from $7.86 to $35.50 for the same quantity overnight; manufacturer is Sandoz. The pharmacist told us some medications went up over 1000-2000% overnight and this was independent of company supplying the medication. He suspected this was due to price gouging by pharmaceutical companies in anticipation of the Affordable Care implementation. Please make someone aware of this.
Submitted by Cindy on
I am stuck in the enrollment with time running out on a very bad policy by Dec 15th. I have talked to several who are unable to help me. Before the system shut down I had everything ready to go and since then the computer has lost my husband and now I cannot enroll! Very,very frustrating! I have been told to wait 2-5 business days for a call; like before and figure they cannot help. So I guess we will not be insured and it is not our fault!
Submitted by Max on
I tried signing up on 1 Oct. Set up an account and could never get on again until I set up another account on 10 Oct. That didn't work so they had me do a phone application on 12 Oct. That was filled out incorrectly, spelling wrong, income wrong etc etc. This was updated on 21 Oct. I was sent 8 emails on the 21 Oct from affordable care but when I clicked on the highlighted line it brought me to the sign in and there is no place to view emails on the website. Then on 24 Oct they checked my phone application again, discovered some of the same errors and then after checking and refiled it said all was OK. I tried to fill out one online but that never worked, it listed my name three times and my wife once. It would always put in my SS number for my wife. Half of the things saved were left empty when I signed in again (it never allowed me to finish). After doing this for 10 days, I gave up on the online; even today it shows 3 of me - nothing has changed. I was told advanced resolution would call me three times. I received one call 9 days after they said they would call. I have never received the other calls. I support universal care, having lived in Germany and Japan where health care is truly affordable for all people, costs the same for everyone and everyone must participate. It would really be a pity if the US is the only industrialized country that doesn' t have affordable health care. Even this health care is not affordable compared with all European countries, Singapore and Japan. It still costs 6x-10X as much for vastly inferior coverage, limited selection even with the best plans and enormous deductables. Why don't you just copy Singapore or Japans health care methods. They are the most efficient and least costly but in both countires people live longer and have healthy lives even when aged.
Submitted by Heather on
I love the way you are professionally and methodically moving forward on resolving this problem. I wonder if there's a way to give preferential treatment to those people who have received those frightful letters from their insurers. Apparently it's not a huge number, so perhaps they can be tracked down and made aware of their insurance company's responsibility in the cancellation and subsequent price increase. They would be surprised to learn the true value of their plan that they "love." Then they could be guided through their actual options for getting a better plan on the Marketplace. Several journalists have gone to the trouble of following up some of those bandwagon-jumpers and found that they never even investigated their options. Searching them out to give them help might add a bit of appreciation where there is now only distrust. Here in Central Florida we are doing all we can to inform and assist folks about the realities of the ACA. Keep up the good work. You have many people singing your praises.