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Making the Enrollment Process Easier

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

We continue to make measurable progress to improve HealthCare.gov, and to clear items from our punch list that will have a positive impact on consumers applying for and enrolling in quality health coverage.

As of this morning, we’ve completed fixes for two-thirds of the high priority bugs that our tech team working with issuers identified as being responsible for the issues with 834s transactions and Direct Enrollment. 

For example:

  • We’ve undertaken a fix that ensures a user can select the appropriate relationship to a dependent, such as mother, father or step-parent.
  • Additionally, when a user checks family eligibility, the system now returns the primary tax filer as the primary applicant.

Other fixes that went in last night enhance the user experience by improving the Plan Compare function on Healthcare.gov.

For example:

  • We’ve improved the filter for the “annual deductible” section so that it properly shows the minimum and maximum plan deductibles for the plans the user is considering.
  • And we improved the user interface for when users click on the “Details” button of their selected plan.

We expect to make further progress in resolving high priority issues in the coming days, and we know that the work we’ve done will help consumers and issuers complete enrollments accurately and efficiently.

When we talk about enrollment, I want to remind consumers that one way to enroll is by going online directly to Healthcare.gov, but alternative pathways are available – by phone, in person with an assister, and by paper application.

For those who are not subsidy eligible, another way to enroll outside the Marketplace is to work exclusively through an insurer’s website, and never be connected to HealthCare.gov or the Hub.  A calculation of subsidies would need to be reconciled and secured through the Hub.

We continue to work with issuers to improve our system and leverage more ways for consumers to enroll in quality affordable coverage.


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 Glynis on
if you want to see plans go to valuepenguin.com or healthsherpa.com. Those site will give you details on deductibles, copays, etc so you can pick a plan and then call back and tell them which one you want so they can finish it.
Submitted by Frank on
All the information which was said to be saved never is, necessitating re-entering all of it every time I log back in, then the site crashes, which is a circle that never ends.
Submitted by Totally Frustrated on
Wish I had kept an outline of all the effort and phone calls [aka "wasted" time] involved in this endeavor. Here's a sampling of my experience with this whole process. If nothing else, I hope my voice helps others to realize that you're not alone. * 10.1.13 - attempted filling out an application online * 10.2.13 - VERBALLY gave my info to a rep, who entered that info into a PDF application * Called a couple weeks later, after hearing nothing ... was originally told it took 3 - 5 days to get info via email or by mail; later was told it took up to 6 weeks and then told to fill out another application, because it probably didn't like my email address [had a "." in it] So another application was filled out. * Over a week ago I received a call from Serco North America, stating they were the Healthcare Marketplace ... did not give out info to her ... called the marketplace and two people told me that they know nothing about this organization ... was referred to the Federal Trade Commission and filed a report ... the FTC knew nothing about this group and asked me multiple times that I did NOT give out any personal info ... I then called Serco and that call got escalated to corporate level ... of course between waiting to hear back from Serco and going in to work, my chances to "fill in the blanks" on my application with these people was now over [missed 3 calls] ... to help in this matter the VP at Serco [name withheld] called and informed me that the phone calls were legit and the phone company was fixing the problem with the ID ... asked when would be a good time to call me back ... gave him 4 days, stayed home and [your guessed it] NO PHONE CALL. That application apparently is now BLANK in the marketplace system. * on to the 2nd application that I was told to fill out using a different email address the middle of October. That application does have "non-viewable" eligibility results and I was verbally given them .......... BUT without being able to proceed on the site, how can one make an intelligent decision. * The other night my phone call to the marketplace was escalated to a supervisor who could NOT link my account and offered NO further advice. * Tonight I tried "live help" ... I asked my questions and was disconnected. If I could ask a couple of questions of key people in the administration, it would be WHO and HOW MUCH beta testing actually took place? AND WHY, WHY, WHY is it so hard to offer people the honest facts??? There is no wonder that the number of people enrolling is a low figure. I wonder how many of us is actually out there. Maybe one day we can all find humor in this situation. Happy Holidays to all!
Submitted by DJ on
I have entered the application information - but I can't get past a certain point. I tried three times. Then I called and the operator tried three times. Then I tried three more times. The information is there - why do I have to go through all those pages to be told "Sorry, our system is temporarily down." The data is there - why can't I just jump to the next stage of the process instead of repeatedly inputting my marital status, my lack of kids, I'm not pregnant, my race, etc....
Submitted by mary jo on
I posted this a couple weeks ago and am still stuck in the same place "-VIEW ELIGIBILITY RESULTS "- Can't restart app by phone because I started online;chatted often,phone often -no results.My app accepted,identity verified,number assigned, etc.When will you fix the Eligibility section -can't enroll until that is successful.Have used Kaiser instrument so a general idea of subsidy;got all plans from BCBS by mail so I could review -know which one I want..I have dumped cookies,caches and browser history,done the popup thing -no difference.My current insurance is ending soon and I have one of those non-renewable policies.TIME IS RUNNING OUT SO PLEASE FIX THIS SECTION1
Submitted by Mathew on
Currently, the web site doe not function to permit a Tax Household to be configured into anything but a single Plan Enrollment Group. This makes all Individual Blue Cross Plans in South Carolina inaccessible. There is a button to Change Groups which will cause members of the single group to be displayed, but efforts to Create a New Group are completely fruitless. It has been like this for at least 4 weeks. As a result, I am unable to make a purchase online. Viewing the source code for the page reveals the intention to provide this functionality, but the code is clearly defective ("glitchy" would be to mild a description here). Calls to the Help line provide no reassurance that this error is even recognized or being worked on. I am a supporter of this effort, desperately trying to purchase coverage for me and my wife through Blue Cross in SC and I have no idea if or when I will be able to do so. Calls to Blue Cross management indicate that they currently have no idea how to work around the web site for subsidy eligible buyers. It is a mess.
Submitted by Shannon on
I submitted my application WEEKS ago and with all the bugs I have been patient. I have been stuck on the part where my identity needs to be verified. I initially sent in a copy of my ID....nothing. Then my boss had me fax my ID to him and he then emailed it to me so I was able to upload it and it finally says pending, but that was over a week ago as well. I haven't had health insurance since 2010 and I know that this will be an awesome program but come on now! This should have been ready to go! I'm ready to have health insurance again!
Submitted by Michelle on
I have filled out the application every day for the last 21 days. Every time I finish the application and click to verify identity it never gives me an option to buy insurance it just tells me that the application is incomplete. How many times must I complete the application? It takes 17 minutes to go through the application process.Today it was as it has been the last 21 days a huge waste of time. The call center has not been able to help me and the website is useless. PLEASE GET THIS FIXED SO I CAN PURCHASE INSURANCE!!!
Submitted by gretchen on
unable to get past "Terms & Conditions" page. i click on accept and nothing happens..this has been like this foe past 2 days
Submitted by Jennifer on
I have gotten to the screen to choose a plan... and NOTHING... for weeks...... I finally got an error message today with a documented error number: 500.300517 and a message to call the call center. Unfortunately, they had no better response. I really want and need to sign up and I can't! I am worried about making sure my young daughter has health insurance as I just started a new job that pays too much to receive state coverage, but not enough to afford the insurance offered through work (a premium of over $700 per month with a $2500 deductable!). This is beyond frustrating at this point.
Submitted by Matthew on
I got an error message of:500.300517. i really need health insurance for me and my daughter. Please advise me of what to do.
Submitted by Anon on
Finally made it to the last step of enrollment, review and confirm, only to get the error below. Chat help and the call center had no answers or solutions other than to "try again later". Bad part of this error, is it literally locks the last step of enrollment, requiring one to unselect and reselect a plan to unlock it. Call center had NO information on the error ID available...being an IT professional, that's embarrassing to have the error ID and not provide action plan to the call center to guide them on assisting the user. There's a problem getting this plan's information. Please try again. If you continue getting this message, call the Marketplace Call Center at 1-800-318-2596. TTY users should call 1-855-889-4325. Error ID:500.300588 If I was close to Julie Bataille's office, I'd stop by and suggest they get a script to the call center agents with error code handling asap, or get this one added.
Submitted by Judi on
I have tried three separate times to apply for healthcare. I get Error ID:500.300588 . I am now on hold trying to get help putting it through. Although, I did the on time number 2 and the young woman who was helping me also got the error. So I am now on hold today for application number 4. This is horrible.
Submitted by Doug on
I share the same experience as Anon. The error code ID:500.300588 is so close yet so far away from getting enrollment completed. No one at call center and chat is helpful. I just spent 1.5 hours to get connection to call center. Explained the error code once again and then the music came back on and about 10 minutes later the survey message came on. It is pretty hard to score the service level above poor when they won't even admit the problem and offer no solutions to eliminate it.
Submitted by Stuart on
I have read about this same problem for a lot of people, and I have no idea what operating systems people are using, but I'm throwing the idea out there that perhaps the server won't communicate well with Windows 8. I ran into this same exact problem with my wife's new, fancy windows 8 computer, and when I would log out and back in and with different browsers, it never worked. But it worked just fine the first time I tried it on my old, clunky Vista computer. I don't know if this would apply to you, but I thought I would put it out there.
Submitted by Common on
This is a VERY common error that nobody knows how to fix. The suggestion here was to ask for an ARC supervisor, nobody knew what that was and I was put on hold over an hour then hung up on.
Submitted by mark on
same problem Error ID:500.300588 at plan confirmation.
Submitted by Anonymous on
I'm getting the same thing. This is a HORRIBLE program and we need answers. Our tax dollars were spent on this disgusting excuse for a website.
Submitted by Scott on
The unselect and reselect is now not working either! Does anyone have any other thoughts on completing the last step? The call center said to mail in a paper application.
Submitted by Charles on
I just encountered this Error ID:500.300588, today, December 11th and the call center still can't do anything about it.
Submitted by ray on
as of dec 11, 2013, I still get this error message
Submitted by Azar on
Did you get any resolution yet?
Submitted by julie on
they still have not fix the problem as of today 12-6/2013
Submitted by Anon2 on
Have been dealing with this specific error for three days now. Just as reported, the call center did not have a solution to this error - they cannot perform the "Confirm" step either.... Repeated trying does not seem to be going anywhere. Based on the text associate with the error (ID 500.300588), it might be server overload or collision of submissions... but agree that the tech team should provide an explanation to the call center, so the good people who are willing to help could get some clues! I am stuck at this moment, as the Call Center is unable to resolve this particular error.
Submitted by Denise on
I too have been dealing with this for two and half days with the same error code. Phone rep unable to assist me, recommended that I call the insurance co directly to enroll? Insurance co rep said they can enroll me but it won't be through the marketplace? What the heck?! Which information to I rely on? Yes, please get some reliable information to the call center people and.. am I imagining it or is the live chat really a robot? The answers to my questions or the information I typed was entirely random, repeated itself more than once and did not make logical conversation sense. Three attempts at live chat got me no where. I really do not want to start this process over when I am on the last confirm step. I started this process at the very beginning and have spent hours these past few weeks trying to trudge through the system getting no where for days at a time. Don't get me wrong I am a real supporter of the ACA but come on folks.... let's get it together already.