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Improving the User Experience

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

We’ve made substantive progress over the weekend—and the Healthcare.gov site continues to get better each week.

First, we took steps to improve hardware and software issues. We successfully installed two large-scale data storage units, which will help ensure the stability of the Federally-facilitated Marketplace application.   Storage units are crucial to handling volume, and more will be added over the next few weeks.  Additionally, we are closely monitoring load balances among storage units to ensure efficient transaction handling. 

Second, based on the new protocol established last week to enable integrated performance teams to identify, prioritize, test and fix specific software issues on an accelerated basis, we implemented software fixes that addressed dozens of outstanding issues. 

These updates will improve the user experience, improve system throughput, and streamline the process for agent/brokers and customer service representatives. 

A few examples – which demonstrate the depth and specificity of fixes we’ve done to enhance the application and user experience include the following:

  • “Save” and “remove” options were added for consumers to upload documents to enable easier enrollment.
  • Consumer alerts were added on Plan Compare to let users know they cannot use Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC) if they select catastrophic plans.
  • And Out-of-state residency information changes were simplified.

A number of other application fixes also improve user flow and address issues with 834 transaction forms.   834s are the transaction forms that the Marketplace system provides to insurance companies to complete the processing of an application and to enable the customer to ultimately complete payment and enrollment with the issuer.

  • Cancellation notices have been corrected.  Users –individuals or insurers—are now notified appropriately when a cancellation is made.
  • A rate rounding issue was fixed to enable users’ applications to move forward more easily.  Previously, APTC calculations that rounded resulted in stopping the application process.
  • If an individual chooses to work with a broker/agent, the broker can now add a unique identifier to simplify the workflow and to reference the information in the future.

In addition to these recent fixes, our ongoing monitoring shows that the system is stable with users moving more quickly through it with fewer errors.  As we’ve reported previously, we’ve also resolved many of the initial account creation issues that consumers had experienced early on.

Third, we know that in the first days of open enrollment many consumers tried to log in to the Marketplace on HealthCare.gov— and to take the first step to create an online account— but had trouble. While working to improve our systems, we’ve been conducting analysis to identify those consumers who may have been unsuccessful in creating accounts at that time.

Today we’re beginning to send messages to those consumers who had account creation issues to let them know they can now try again.  And we’re providing them with instructions about how to get enrolled—and some tips. We have also posted a consumer blog on this at HealthCare.gov.

We’ll continue to actively communicate with consumers about where they are in the process and what they need to do to complete enrollment over time. As we go forward, we continue to make progress on HealthCare.gov.  We have the right team in place and a relentless focus on getting the job done quickly and well.  The site is getting better each week, and by the end of November, it will be working smoothly for the vast majority of users.

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Submitted by Tran on
I was on the very last step in the enrollment process since Oct.19, but the system did not let me to complete it when I click the "Confirm" button. (I already selected my medical and also already electronic signed). And now I cannot log in my account, what do I have to do? Please help!!! By the way, I received the cancellation letter from my insurer!!!
Submitted by Vicki on
How do U get the application? I have read all the to-do lists. Looked at KP sample plans, qualified for help in premiums, but I cannot find the damn application. Anyone?
Submitted by Tina on
I am the same way, I can not open the window that say create an account. Is there any reason why I cant create the account?
Submitted by Laura on
I mailed in my app and have learned from representatives that my app is completed. They cannot however verify my identity! Since I was not able to verify identity online, I mailed copy of voter registration card. Still, no response. What is the use of having a completed app if it goes nowhere?
Submitted by Mary on
I completed an application at the end of the second week of enrollment after many attempts. I hit submit and was told to call a certain number where I could be verified. I was informed at that number I was verified. But I never received the email confirming this as the person at that number promised. Since then I cannot get into my account. I enter my username and password and it simply asks me to resubmit these. I can do this over and over and nothing happens. I have called the number posted on the website several times. One person told me my application was complete. But another person (just yesterday) told me there was a problem with my appplication; but she had no idea what it was because she could not get into my application either. I was simply told to be patient. Is it possible to call the number listed on the website and reapply by phone?
Submitted by Deborah on
Tried to apply on line - could not create a login account.
Submitted by Debra S on
I have called twice, signed up by phone October 10th, the staff put me on hold, they have found my files, but do not know what the emails they have sent me. I am still waiting on paperwork, this is very upsetting. I have an account, but when they ask me a personal question, it is not what I had put down on my application. What is wrong with this system, very upsetting, and do they call you back NOOOOOOOOOOOO, they have my number.
Submitted by Bob on
Still impossible to Create An Account, either for a business or for an individual. Why can't we be told when it might be a good idea to come back and try again?
Submitted by Tracy on
Your Marketplace application is complete and has been processed. View your eligibility results to find out if you can enroll in health coverage. Page will not open to view. Escalated to supervisor and they can not open it either ......Frustrated in Delaware.
Submitted by Starlene on
My issue is I made an error in the income section and did not catch it. I submitted the application, but due to the income it sent my application on to AZ Medicaid. I can't access the application now. It says it is complete, but also says it in in progress. How can this be rectified so I can re-apply? I have called the market place # 5 times, spoke to an "adviser " in person with no helpful direction. I also spoke to an "advance resolution" specialist that said I need to wait and hope the website fixes cover it.