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HealthCare.gov: A Progress Update

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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Three weeks ago, we announced a technology surge as part of our commitment to fix Healthcare.Gov. Yesterday, entrepreneur and management expert Jeff Zients said this about the status of our efforts: 

“We’re making good progress on the punch list overall.  We’re constantly tiering the list to make sure that the most important issues are at the top and we are making progress across those priority areas.

I want to emphasize, however, like any website, there are new issues that crop up and you’re continually improving.  So we’ll be getting better each week in the month of November and we’ll continue to do so in December, January, February, just like you do with any website.”

As Jeff has said, HealthCare.gov is fixable and we are on a path to do just that so by the end of November, it will be working smoothly for the vast majority of users.

To help you understand some of the steps we’ve taken to improve the site over the last three weeks, we wanted to highlight the major fixes we've put into place:

  • We brought in management expert Jeff Zients to help lead the surge. We also named QSSI as the general contractor and brought in additional staff from each of our contractors.
  • We structured 4 core teams to fix and monitor software and infrastructure issues in real-time.
  • We’ve doubled the number of servers and enhanced system redundancy, improving site architecture and increasing capacity to better meet the high consumer demand and site traffic.
  • The account registration process was completely overhauled. We can now handle nearly 17,000 potential account registrants per hour. 
  • Robust performance testing was implemented to identify fixes for our punch list—prioritizing those that have the most impact on the consumer experience.  
  • A virtual database was replaced by a high capacity physical database to improve system efficiency.
  • We reduced the error rate -- the frequency, on a per page basis, of system time outs or failures that prevented the user from advancing from 6% to 2%. 

While we’re still not where we want to be with HealthCare.gov, the site is getting better each week.

Millions of Americans are already seeing benefits from the Affordable Care Act. As we continue to improve the site, more and more Americans are finishing their applications through the site. Here are some of their stories:

  • Deborah L in New Hampshire, is saving hundreds of dollars a month for better coverage, despite having a pre-existing condition.
  • Lissie S of Atlanta site exit disclaimer is saving 50% on both her deductible and premium.
  • Daniel, a 22 year old Floridian, is thrilled to get coverage at just $70 a month.
  • A family in Utah site exit disclaimer is getting coverage for $123 a month.
  • Folks from Chicago site exit disclaimer to Philadelphia site exit disclaimer are still excited to get covered.

To read more stories about Americans benefiting from the Affordable Care Act, visit hhs.gov/HealthCare.

 

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

Comments

Submitted by Patricia on
I'm at the last step before actually shopping for a plan on the marketplace. My application has been processed and I am told that I can now view my eligibility results. However, I am not able to do so. I get a blank page with the word /null/ as the last word the web address. Is this issue one that the team is aware of and moving to fix?
Submitted by Richard on
Been having the same exact problem since 10/23. Clicking the "view eligibility results" link either does nothing at all, or takes you to the blank "null" page. Twice tried "chat" support. They have no answers except "turn off pop up blocker". Talked to someone on the phone who also had no useful ideas. So, I will apparently have to wait until December or January when the site may work.
Submitted by Michele on
Marcus and I have been trying to sign up since Oct 1st, 2013. Finally after 2 weeks we created an account with a user id and password. We have not been able to log into the account for several days to complete the application process. We love Obama care. Lets get this up and running. Michele Bachmann
Submitted by Jim on
Dear Michele - Luckily for you, you and Marcus are already covered by the health plan offered to all federal employees. I am sure Marcus is looking forward to when Gay Marriage comes to Minnesota. Your BFF, Jim Graves
Submitted by Andrea on
No, YOU ARE NOT THERE YET. I seem to be the 2% who persistently is having trouble. Gave up on first application that becomes unresponsive in the exact same place (Household Information section). So started an entirely new application. Got all the way to Review and Sign and needed to correct ONE item in the Information section. Rather than allowing me to change that one item (transposed digits on phone number), I'm forced back tor review the entire application and then the system goes down. So, while I did progress all the way to the end, I'm back at the beginning and NO CLOSER TO EVEN REVIEWING MY INSURANCE OPTIONS AFTER 5 WEEKS. You still do not understand that you can not fix this system by constantly looking at the back end. You have to come and sit at my kitchen table and see what the consumer is experiencing. You are not even asking the consumers about the problems we are seeing. If you were you'd give me a Report a Problem button.
Submitted by sam, atlanta on
Andrea, I'm experiencing exactly the same problem... People who are responsible for the debacle have to fired, and first Ms. Tavener and Ms. Bataille...
Submitted by JEP on
HELP Why is all communication with the Gov't HC Marketplace one way? When we apply on-line, the system just rejects us. When we call the 800 number we get a polite representative that apologizes, but can't tell us what we need to do or resolve our problem. The only thing they can tell us it to try back later. When we go to "Live Chat", they're also apologetic, but can only tell us to call the 800 number. When we comment and ask questions on this blog, there's no response, just dead silence. When we call Experian, they tell us they can't help us verify our identity, they say they can't help us, we must call the Gov't 800 number. Would someone please let us know what we need to do to resolve issues and move our application forward? The status of my application has been stuck in the "in progress" and my ID verification has been "under review" for FIVE WEEKS. PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just tell us what we need to do to get HC insurance. Our current HC plan is being cancelled come Jan 1st and we can't even get a response, any kind of response, "period" from the people running the government HC Market Place. PLEASE HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Submitted by Mike on
JEP, either send a copy of your driver's license, or state issued ID card to the marketplace address (it's available on the website) or call the toll free number and have a customer service representative assist you with entering an application while you're on the phone. It only takes about 30 - 45 minutes and you get your eligibility determination within 30 of submitting it. I agree with Experian being no help, when it seems their verification is responsible for many consumer's frustration. But, the customer service reps should be able to give you a list of items you can send copies of to the marketplace to circumvent Experian's verification issue.
Submitted by Cal on
Three guys recoded healthcare.gov over the weekend (http://www.thehealthsherpa.com). It lets you compare plans and directs you to insurance vendors. Why doesn't HHS purchase the web site from them and put it up? If you are planning to shift focus from the failed healthcare.gov to the insurance companies, this is a viable alternative. (It's not vapor ware, ie a glint in some salesmans eye).
Submitted by JIM on
Thanks for the link.
Submitted by Calli on
Stuck on enroll page, which now comes up blank. I only got to see plans two different times when I logged in. When I chose the "compare" option, the page got stuck, and now seems to be permanently blank. I've tried deleting cookies; tried different browsers; tried during off-hours----nothing. Plans? Blank. Any suggestions?
Submitted by Jimmy on
This sounds like a Copy and Paste from an earlier "Update". How about some specifics? If you don't stop lying, you'll never get it to work!
Submitted by James Wimberley on
At last, a metric! The error rate. Please update it here every week, not just when it improves. Other possible metrics include: - the number of users stuck for more than 24 hours, broken down by their stage in the application; - the number of form-834 errors reported by insurance firms, - the number of calls to the phone helpline divided by the number of new applications. Can other readers make more or better suggestions?
Submitted by Roger on
From my perspective of being a software engineer and trying to use the website everyday, I see some bugs fixed and new ones introduced. Do you have any automated regression testing in place? If so, what percentage code coverage do you have?
Submitted by David on
To the administrators: some of these comments could help you a lot, such as the one from a software engineer. I hope you are paying attention to them. Some replies from you might calm individuals suffering from site bugs. Consider taking a few minutes to write some helpful replies.

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