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

Hundreds of Improvements

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

As part of our ongoing efforts to make improvements to HealthCare.gov, we continue to focus on the need to build capacity and fix software bugs.

Increasing capacity has largely been a function of enhancing the hardware side of HealthCare.gov so that it is reliable, scalable and recoverable. To do this, we have added server capacity, improved database functionality, and swapped out directory components.

Software fixes have also been an important part of our work. Our development and testing teams, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, have made hundreds of improvements to system software on both the front-end, which faces consumers, and the back-end, which helps the site operate efficiently. Just last night, we implemented another round of software fixes.

As a result, there are now improvements that:

·        Make it easier for agents-brokers to find applications for consumers.

·        Made the user interface more intuitive for consumers by:

o   Improving display of “Plan Results”

o   Properly display spouse or domestic partner information

o   Allowing consumer to more flexibly enter tax information in the system.

All these fixes have greatly enhanced the ability of consumers to use the site to shop for and enroll in health plans that meet their needs. The site is better today than it was on Oct. 1.  We are on track to meet our goal of having the site work for the vast majority of users by the end of the month. To be clear, Nov. 30 does not represent a “re-launch” of the site. It is not a magical date.  There will be times after Nov. 30 when the site, like any web site, does not perform optimally. And work will continue after Nov. 30 to make further improvements.

Because of the numerous upgrades in software and hardware over the last month, on Dec. 1, HealthCare.gov will be able to handle approximately 50,000 users at the same time and more than 800,000 users a day. However, if there are extraordinarily high spikes in traffic, which exceed the site’s capacity, consumers will be put in a new advanced queuing system that allows them to be notified via email when they can return at a later time. If the site does experience high spikes in volume, as we saw in the first few days of October, we will recommend that consumers consider visiting the site during off-peak hours in the mornings, evenings or on weekends. 

Again, we are seeing improvements week over week with lower error rates and faster response times. Our work will continue so that every American who wants it, can access and enroll in affordable, high quality health 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/.

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Submitted by ReginaK on
Home page has jumbled text on top of text. This is an easy fix. Not a very good first impression.
Submitted by Mary on
I mailed in proof of income info. I am unable to upload the info. This leaves my status as "in process", which does not allow me to take the final step and choose my plan. Only two days left. Will upload feature be working in time? Also where do I locate it?
Submitted by paul on
I think the affordable care to Americans is a good policy that needs our support because its overall economic effect good. Yes, solutions for challenges of competiveness and good service provision can be achieved with time and needs collaboration with the many stakeholders medical and corporate sectors, and the public. Thanks for your good work. Paul.
Submitted by Pam on
Re: Security questions Most of the security questions offered during sign up are problematic. Favorites and phone numbers change with time. Dates can be written in multiple ways (June 1, 6-1, 06-01, 1 June 2013, 1 June '13, etc.) and "significant dates" (birthdays, anniversary dates) are easy to crack.
Submitted by shermangeorge on
I need help to apply for insurance
Submitted by SMJ on
Just received my invoice from Blue Cross -- Awesome!!! Thank you ACA and marketplace!!!!
Submitted by Edward on
I was just told that there is some serious security issues and that not all pages and code have been tested. I read that people are just missing their data off the site for their passwords. I can speak for myself I will in no way put my private information in jeopardy. It's one thing about a credit card number and SS number but when this gets to the insurance exchange people and they have not secured off the Health care site for transfer of data then were looking at an opportune time for someone coming in and scooping up personal data that knows how to hack poor code and security. Please confirm there is security issues that need to be corrected.
Submitted by Scott on
Edward: Stop buying into the attacks on the ACA.
Submitted by SMJ on
This entire weekend, the user name and password screen reverts back to blank user and password forms when I try to log in. And I am somebody who created an account and enrolled in both health and dental plans. As of Friday morning, I was able to log in and see my plans and what I signed up for. But all of sudden, yesterday and today, the login page does not work!! What is going on? Have passwords or user names been altered for existing account holders or is this a site volume issue? No error message, no email notice, no nothing. PLEASE COMMINICATE ERRORS!!!!! This is an absolute disgrace. And I am a Liberal Democrat. Stop with the propaganda and start communicating what is going on. Based on what I am reading in this blog over the past 48 hours, it is clear that the site is not working properly and perhaps some unintended consequences took place with the so-called Friday night lengthy blackout and fix. Will somebody please come on this blog and let people know what to do with these various concerns????????
Submitted by Anonymous on
Just trying to figure out how this site works. So far, no rose..no login..nothing. What gives??
Submitted by JEC on
How do you protect our privacy. A lot of the information is Privacy Act data, and must be protected as such. Anyone who obtains, reads, scans, or sees my information has to have my permission, and even with permission, there has to be a full and tracable audit trail. In other words, a person can find out every time someone looked at, or used or accessed their data! How does Heathcare.gov do that? And what protections are there should the data become hacked and used for crimes? Is the company running the site responsible? I hope so..looking forward to your reply..
Submitted by Jay campbell on
Guess the screw-ups include "losing" messages not favorable tot the WEB people who should all BE FIRED
Submitted by LD on
I applied 2 weeks ago ( after many failed attempts since Oct. 1) & at that time was able to print an itemized listing of plans available based upon my info. Now I cannot find the plans no matter what, on the healthcare website. I have 2 options whenever trying to get there: I can either check the results of my application or continue on to enroll. Each time I click "continue on to enroll" I get one of 2 options - leave the page or stay on the page. And , of course, both lead nowhere except in a circle. It is so frustrating. And now they give us until Dec. 23 to sign up for Jan. 1 coverage? They extended the deadline a whole week? Wow, that's impressive when it is now 2 months since this defunct website started & it is still not working properly. Typical of the US government. They all need to be fired.
Submitted by Rob on
Well good news for me (I hope). This morning I got on and could not enroll. I pushed find my account (application) and it said success . From there it led me through till finally it said application complete! The payment method button wasn't working so I called and they said I will be getting something from the insurance co. as far as billing. I'm going to call the insurance co. in a couple days to make sure they have my info.The final cost was aprox. $90 more than all the previous estimates. But that is still $587 less than my Cobra. Hopefully in a few days I'll know if all is well.
Submitted by willy Mann on
Given the incompetency of everyone connected with the infamous web site, it would appropriate and gracious for you all to RESIGN so that a more competent PRIVATE company might do the j ob.
Submitted by Lisa on
Still stuck at set premium tax credit please wait all day. Phone rep answer the same as always some are getting through, now there is a back end issue it's a glitch or the site is busy keep trying. Don't they understand if you keep trying it keeps the website bogged down, please wait doesn't help either. It would have been better to take the site down until the whole thing was fixed. Who has time to keep trying. Time is running out another day down with few sign up how is the website going to handle the 7 million they say that are going to want insurance in the next 22 days.
Submitted by JAY CAMPBELL on
Submitted by Debbie on
What changes have you made so that it is easier for agents. I am an agent but I am not are of anything new. Please share what this information is asap.
Submitted by Steve on
I am still not able to create an account, however, now the software tells me that my e-mail address MAY already be associated with another account AND that the UID I am trying to create already exists, no matter what user id I make up. I am sorry, but this is not working for me. At first I thought that these new errors were caused by artifacts of previous tries. Now I am concerned that my data is associated with someone else's account!
Submitted by PB on
Fold the site, start anew. Adding the queue feature up front isn't really a fix since you can't trust anything on the site beyond the first screen especially pertaining to enrollment or cost/subsidy. The application system is flawed and communication with the ultimate insurers is suspect. As others have suggested this wasn't a two way conversation and you have basically ignored those you expect to embrace this seemingly endless nebula. Remember your screen promotes "People First", but the original legislation and the system you are trying to initiate simply undermines the consumer concept you insist on fallaciously promoting.
Submitted by Dianne Anderson on
Simple question but I don't see many FAQ's. Im enrolled in a plan but can't find how to move forward to pay for it……..
Submitted by Bruce on
At last a reset option! I was in an unbreakable series of loops all leading back to a "locked" button. Near as I could tell you thought I should apply for Medicaid from Florida. Where you got that idea, given my stated income and asset levels, I don't know. Florida turned me down promptly, twice, once when I went to their web site on my own and again when I got there via a HC.gov link. Obviously you weren't told, or didn't hear, about that. Now I can see, by starting over, if you now can screen out the misguided and/or fakers like me. I don't need health insurance, being, as I told you, 83 and on Medicare just like everybody else over 65, and therefore ineligible, I understand, to shop even for Medi-gap insurance through the exchange. As a retired federal employee from DOD (not Congress, thank God) I am happy with my long ago decision to make the federal government my career. But as a career IT professional involved with hardware/software procurement and applications implementation for 25 years I just had to see for myself what all the fuss was about. I waited until Nov 1 to sign up when I read that the web site was 80% faster and that the wee hours were usually free of traffic -- if was was up at all. From news reports and my own experience I conclude that the HHS made all the classic mistakes that we were guilty of from 1958 to 1985: too many contracts to too many lowest bidders; no end to end tests; no beta test with one friendly state before taking on the biggest and most hostile part of the country. Etc. Then of course fire bells rung by the workers were unheard at the top by pointy haired managers and politicos who acted as if they had only to order the computers to work and they would. Good luck with the long hours and no praise ahead. Others have been there before you. I once did two years with every fourth Sunday off, whether I need it or not.
Submitted by Delfin on
I am a big supporter of the ACA. But, this has been the most frustrating experience I have ever had. December 1 AND still no end in site. Nothing seems to work for me. I see absolutely no "fixes" from my perspective. Still no closer to signing up than I was on Oct 1. No one can help either. No help desk, no call backs, no assistance in resolving issues.
Submitted by sam, atlanta on
Dec. 1 Your website is still a joke: it crushed on me exactly the same way two weeks ago, a month ago, or on Oct. 1... and your customer support is pretty useless: they can't answer any technical questions related to the site...And that is after you spent $630 millions of taxpayers' money! What a waste! You should be ashamed of yourself, MS. Batteille!
Submitted by Anonymous on
You need to get President Obama out of office. He is causing alot of trouble in his term of office. He has ruined alot of peoples lifes in what he has done. Some people had very good health plans and now we have to look for other plans that are more expensive in premiums, I thought this was suppose to be Affordable Care Act, does the president know what the word affordable means ? Annomys.