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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.


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 philana on
I submitted my Application on 10/02/13. I'm told my Eligibility Results are ready, but the Eligibility Results tab still doesn't work. Here I am 5 weeks later and I still know nothing. The Marketplace Reps are of no use. The handling of this program is totally unacceptable.
Submitted by Frederick on
I have completed my application and been eligible since Oct 5 but when I click the "continue to enrollment" button I am taken to a blank page. I log in and do this three times a day and get the same result (that is the definition of insanity). Both the live chat and call center have been totally useless.
Submitted by Teresa on
I chose my policy, then moved to the dental selection. I clicked on No, I don't want a dental policy, but it won't let me move on from there. The final "to-do" is grayed out and says "locked". Please help. I am in nursing school and required to have health insurance. My present policy will end on 12/31. I must have coverage!
Submitted by Tracy on
How about fixing it so you can answer all the questions before it loops you back to the main screen to start over. Only to try and try and try again but getting the same results.
Submitted by Patricia on
I'm also still trying to get my results since the middle of October. Another issue is there is no way to open the message I supposedly have (5 messages to be exact). I never receive any e-mails regarding these messages or my situation.
Submitted by Sandra on
I filled out my application on 10/23/2013 and still can not review my eligibility results. I continue to call and chat and no one can help. That is not good.
Submitted by Sam on
come on guys just fix it so you can register .That alone would be progress
Submitted by Tyler on
He's in charge of this, it's HIS baby. He passes blame just as much as the developers and contracted agencies. You are obviously an Obama supporting sheep. See the ACA for what it REALLY is, socialist CRAP
Submitted by Robert on
I really feel so bad for the President and others who wanted this program to suceed. It's just too bad he relied on people who produced such a failed website. They have put him in a hole so deep I hope he can get out of it.For the country and for people like me I hope he can survive this.
Submitted by Mary on
I agree with you.....it takes many people to get this initiative off the ground and get it working right. I was a VA nurse for over 30 years and I can tell you that we went through many changes in our delivery of care to our Veterans over the years but once we changed over to a complete computer health care record it made it easier and safer for our patients. It took years and was very frustrating at times for health care providers but it was well worth it. I hope that everyone can continue to be patient and realize that it will all work out. It's an ongoing process.
Submitted by Summerose on
ppl... chill out this is for your heath if it takes a little longer than you want. so what... it's for your benefit there is no price or time frame for your well being if you hav a plan thats 50.00 dollars a month do you really think thats gonna cover any type of care if you get sick????? so what if your plan was cxc but now you can get better coverage by paying a little more.. when do you start putting a price tag on yr life and well being...wtf
Submitted by richard baltz on
I was able to create an account and fill out an application, though my application status reflects...In Progress since October 4. The issue seems to be identity verification. I sent a physical copy to to Health and Human Services in Kentucky on October 5 and have since uploaded identity proof several times successfully since October 5 but still the status reads.....Verification Pending. I have called the Marketplace more times than I can count but to no avail. The advanced resolution teams tells me to be patient, saying things will move forward and that one day, miraculously, my application will be complete and verified. It seems to me marketplace representatives need a way to personally edit an application initiated on the web. Still waiting and hoping for that miracle.
Submitted by Tammy on
Thanks Richard, I have the exact same situation. I was actually holding out a sliver of hope that the advanced resolution, if and when they ever get back to me (been 2 weeks now) might be able to get identity verified. But obviously I will get another canned response of it will happen but we have no idea when that might be so even though you need to have your insurance decision in place we cannot do anything to help you with this process we've created. NO ANSWERS FOR YOU!
Submitted by Ellen on
I am having the exact same problem. I sent identity proof twice. I have chatted online and called numerous times. The frustration is stating to wear on me. My health insurance is being cancelled, but I wanted a cheaper insurance anyway. My insurance company can't help me. I think the main problem is Experian, who does the identity verification. If it was up to me, I would fire them.
Submitted by Hannah on
I am having the same issues as you. It keep saying "in progress", verification pending. Over a month 1/2 ago I mailed a copy of the proof of identity to Kentucky and uploaded several times proof of identity. When you go to view your application, my application status reflects INCOMPLETE even though I have filled in all the information. The information entered doesn't get saved. I did the chat thing, called Marketplace, and no one was able to help. I hope all the problems get resolved soon.
Submitted by David on
I have been accessing www.healthcare.gov three time each day for the last 11 days and still have status as "pending process". I have called the Phone number daily and have used the chat daily but still nobody seems to be able to advance my app past that point. I would like someone who actually knows what they are doing to review my status. I have returned to the application every day to complete my incomplete application without any success. Your phone and chat people have done no better. I have a healthcare insurance company that I have researched outside of "hellcare".com who are unable to complete my without qualifying through healthcare.com. What can you do to assist in completing my application process. Can someone look into this? My experience with your healthcare.com and other's experience as I read these chats are quite different what you describe in updates. Quit trying to gloss this over and be honest with me and others. You seem to be talking in one direction, but walking in the wrong other direction. Be sure that your words follow you action. In other words, cut the lies.
Submitted by Dan on
when calling the call center they should have helped you with this if it is pending processing there is probably something that you need to do. login and go to your status page then click view application and it will tell you why it is not processed yet
Submitted by Debbie on
I can not get the result page to open and see what my options are.Call the toll free number asked for help & they could not open the result page need to get in the so I can enroll.When will that be fixed?
Submitted by Karyn C on
I've yet to be able to complete my application on healthcare.org since the 1st week. I'm finally able to retrieve the application since recovering my ID/password last week, but cannot successfully complete it, although it's complete. Additionally, some sort of glitch caused that I would add my 2 children 2 more times than needed in the last 7 days. There's no way to remove them and every time I try to resubmit it, I'm forced to acknowledge every SINGLE question I've already answered. That takes a long time!! And then, it bombs out! How do I get this application corrected and completed please? I spoke with 2 people at the main # last week and they couldn't even retrieve my original account/application and after 35 minutes on the phone, couldn't get a new one started. It's so frustrating! Please help!
Submitted by Tricia on
I am having the same problem!! My daughter is entered twice and I can't fix it. I've called the 800 # too many times to count, no one has an answer. Why cant we just delete the first app and start a new one?
Submitted by Deborah Trippe on
I had an E-M sent to me from Market Place , saying I have a message about my approval. Funny thing is I can't find the MESSAGE anywhere when I log into the Market place. This is the worst thing to go through when you have so many other problems to deal with. I have been waiting for a Advanced Resolution Specialist to call me , Think that will happen?? NOT!
Submitted by Ray on
I was unable to create a Login account. I tried numerous times from 6pm cst to midnight and nothing happened.
Submitted by Josh on
This site is an absolute joke. This government is a bigger joke. How much are you guys getting paid to ruin our healthcare system?
Submitted by Kevin on
Very smooth. The fixes really have made a difference. I was able to create my account easily and quickly. Waiting to see if I can qualify for the tax credit. Thanks again for making this website more user friendly.
Submitted by Glenn on
Why does the ID verification take so long? I have uploaded and mailed documents repeatedly for more than a month. This does not seem to be a software issue. Is a live person actually looking at uploaded or mailed documents?