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Making Measurable Progress

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Today, Jeff Zients offered an update on our efforts to improve HealthCare.gov.  In Jeff’s own words –

Overall, we’ve made measurable progress, as the changes and improvements we’ve made over the last few weeks are having a positive impact on system performance and user experience. The Marketplace system was stable all week, with no unscheduled outages. And for most users, speed and response times were generally good, and error rates were low. In total, we now have crossed more than 200 bug fixes off of our punch list.

Here is an update on where we are at the end of the week:

As we stated last week, two of our key operating metrics are response time and error rate.

Response time is how fast the system responds to user's requests. For the first few weeks after the site launched, we estimate that users were waiting an average of eight seconds for pages across the site to load.

This past week, average response times for most users remained under 1 second.

The other critical metric is the site’s error rate, a measure of the frequency, on a per page basis, of system time outs or failures that prevent the user from advancing to the next page or result in users receiving error messages.

Last Friday, we reported that we had reduced the error rate to 2% down from 6% a few weeks earlier.

This week, by continuing to eliminate glitches and execute software bug fixes, we’ve driven the error rate down to under 1%.

So, on both of these key metrics, response times and error rates, we’ve made measurable progress.

But we still have a lot of work ahead of us.

In the last week, volume on the site increased significantly, both in the number of users and user levels of activity; whether viewing pages or completing stages of the process. During peak periods of volume, some users experienced slower response times.

The increased volumes are a good sign, as they indicate the bug fixes and improvements we’ve made are allowing more consumers to move through the site.

But we clearly need the system to perform reliably with fast response times at higher volumes. This is a key focus of our work now, which we are addressing with additional hardware and infrastructure upgrades, starting this weekend. We will be bringing additional servers online, as well as additional database capacity and data storage. With these upgrades, we will significantly increase the system’s capacity and allow us to maintain good speed and response times at higher volumes.

On the software front, in the last week we have crossed more than 60 improvements and bug fixes off our punchlist, including:

  • Adding visual cues to Plan Compare screens to help consumers make the best plan selection.
  • Improving Direct Enrollment functionality to help consumers move back and forth to issuers’ websites.
  • Fixing a glitch that was preventing some consumers in Pennsylvania from moving through the shopping experience.

In total, we now have crossed more than 200 bug fixes off of our punch list.

For next week, we have a prioritized list of 50 additional fixes and improvements that we’re focused on.

There is still a lot of work to be done to continue to improve the system and user experience. And it’s likely that as we move forward we will find additional glitches and experience intermittent periods of sub-optimal performance.

But we are making measurable progress.

And our bottom line continues to be that by the end of November, we expect to have the site working smoothly for the vast majority of users.

As the President said yesterday, not all consumers going on the website will have a seamless experience. We will continue to improve the site beyond the end of the month.

Most people who use the site will have it operate the way it is supposed to. But it’s important to know that even with a well-functioning website, there are going to be people who need additional help.

Whether it’s due to some complexity in individuals’ particular situations or needs, or simply because buying insurance is a big, complicated decision, some will prefer to get assistance in thinking it through.

So while we are focused on making the site work smoothly for the vast majority of users, the team is also working to make sure we are doing everything we can to give people more assistance in the application process through our call centers and available in-person assistance.

 

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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Comments

Submitted by John Bibby on
The 'username' instructions must have been written by a robot. It is not linguistically or loghically correct. The Boolean 'or' should presumably be an 'AND' (otherwise 'xxxxxxx' is valid) "The username is case sensitive. Choose a username that is 6-74 characters long and must contain a lowercase or capital letter, a number, or one of these symbols _.@/-
Submitted by sharon on
Finally a place to enter your bugs? The site created a second person on my application- myself with my last name in capital letters even though I was applying for individual coverage. I think it had something to do with the second round of identity checks. There is no remove - 11/23/13 so it's over a month with the same bug. Edit just loops through info and at the ed of the application after electronic signature it blows out. the healthcare.gov is the most unprofessional site I have seen in my 30 years, and If I were you I would stop talking about volume. That has nothing to do with the problems of this site. Poor design, poor implementation and no way to collect info on bugs from users. Who the hell designed this. You should all be fired.
Submitted by David on
what is error 500.301533? My application went pretty smoothly, but when I push the enroll button, that's the error message that comes up..
Submitted by Stacia on
After many frustrating attempts to enroll, I must say it is a lot easier and faster to log into my finally established account. However, I keep getting a message that my application is incomplete, but every time I try to access my application to complete any unanswered questions, When I click on RESUME APPLICATION, it keeps bringing back to the same page with the error message. I used the online Chat, but they were very slow and not helpful at all.
Submitted by Joeseph on
Very disappointing and have lost complete confidence in enrollment process. Complied with all standards, instructions and law. 1.Printed application and enrollment confirmed on oct 10 2013. 2.Called ins provider to check on status 2 weeks later; no application was received 3.Called health care . gov and spoken to both supervisors and reps over 5 times since to verify enrollment and move forward . Have been told over the past weeks "You did everything right.you should be receiving your info from your provider" "Its out of our hands" "Our teck department is going to review your application and will be in touch in 5 business days" "Your case has been escalated today is the 5 th day and you should get a call today: I called today 7 days later... A service rep could not assist me....spoke with a supervisor for the 3 rd time who tried to resolve enrollment but could not. Result was could not confirm enrollment, Answer was print out of enrollment confirmation was a misprint, and call back later or wait a few days for out teck people to call. So my Question is what progress is being made if i cant re apply,continue with my enrollment that HC.gov confirmed but un confirmed and cant get a person above a supervisor to speak with. Please fix getting health insurance is a serious issue, it means the difference between life and death for many.
Submitted by Rick on
What good is a fixed website if DESPITE REPEATED PROMISES, THE "ADVANCED RESOLUTION CENTER" SIMPLY WILL NOT CALL ME BACK TO FIX A BOTCHED ENROLLMENT?! I wait the mandated 2-5 business days after the issue is "ARC'ed," get no call, call back and am told the two-five-business day clock needs to start all over again. Three escalations now, and still the promised callbacks never materialize. The last time they couldn't even find any record of my previous calls. And the CSR's steadfastly refuse to just connect me directly to the Advanced Resolution Center; instead it *HAS* to be a callback, which I NEVER GET despite the repeated promises. At this rate there is no way on earth I am going to have my enrollment fixed in time for Jan 1 coverage. It is SO frustrating! What good is enrolling if it came out wrong and no one will even *attempt* to fix it? If the "TERMINATE COVERAGE" function worked maybe I could just cancel and start all over again, but that is still 100% non-functional for me. Isn't there any way I can talk to someone who can actually do something to fix my botched enrollment?
Submitted by Phyllis on
I have been able to sign on and my husband and I have been put into 2 groups. When I try to combine groups like the site says it will not allow me to do this. I hope you are working to fix this. I have called 2 time and have been on-line chat numerous times with no results.
Submitted by Chris on
This is what is showing up on the website when I click the link to "Continue To Enrollment" and when I click on the eligibility results I am getting HTTP 400 Bad Request or a blank page. An error occurred while getting your premium tax credit 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:500.301533 I tried calling the Market Place number and though the agent was polite she couldn't help me or pull up my eligibility or plan information.
Submitted by elizabeth on
when I click on the eligibility results I am getting HTTP 400 Bad Request I called the help line and knowone can fix this problem. Been calling since 10/30/13.
Submitted by Anonymous on
In the initial times I was going through it, my name was added twice to the application. I could not delete it. I decided to complete the application the best I could anyway, and get it fixed later. When I completed and tried to submit it, I got an error screen telling me to go through the whole thing another day. I tried a couple more times (over a week) with the same result. The last attempt, when I went through the whole thing, I accidentally re-entered a SS# incorrectly. The application won't let me change it back to the correct value I had before, or delete it, so I'm permanently stuck on the Family and Household page. Apparently the SS# can't be changed back to a previous value.
Submitted by Pamela on
I have been trying to enroll since 10/03/13 online and I can't get to check to see if I qualified for health insurance thru the Affordable Healthcare. On 11/20/13, I called Healthcare Marketplace's customer service. I was trying to find out how long it takes to verify my ID that I have uploaded on THREE different times. I was told she doesn't know. Then I asked if there was a way she should check to see if the upload was in the appropriate area that does the verifying? She sighed, and then said " I just told you I can't verify it". Then I asked what was her name, she stated "Ms Smith" and I said, you probably not giving me your correct name and then asked for her first name and told she didn't have to tell me. This called was placed @ 11:08 am, EST. And I told her I will find out how and who I needed to file a complaint. Then I wanted to speak with a supervisor and was told there was not one and that someone will call me. The call was being recorded and someone needs to listen how this customer service spoke to me. Why have a Call Center with representative that can't answer any questions and concerns? I'm getting very upset with Healthcare Market website. The public is being told that website problems are being fixed, but I still can't check my eligibility. So why can't I get my ID verified(driver's license), since a message came up stating that it was received? Is there someone monitoring this part of the website?
Submitted by Shelly on
Performance has improved but still does not do the job - " insured people". major bugs. Application does not showthe key information for review. Say no data available. Re-input the same information 30 times and same error message. Eligibility determination is wrong. It is over three weeks and insurance companies haven't receive the enrollment notification for enrolled consumers from market place. So they cannot issue the bill to the consumer.
Submitted by Chris on
Yes, more people have been able to create a profile or even fill out an application,however; the web site states"bad request" when we want to view the eligibility results. Unbelievable. Chatted with a gentleman telling him the problem on your site, and all he could say "We are working out the bugs daily". Could we receive a email on the eligibility?..nope the site doesn't do that either. And yes, I am signed up for that and letters to my home.
Submitted by Katherine on
I have been on your site almost every day since Oct. 1. I still have NOT been able to successfully complete any application.I still CANNOT even find out if we even qualify for any tax subsidy, nor have I been able to get into this Marketplace. I now have, at least, 3 applications that have gotten to the review. The first one separated our income and said I qualified for Maine care (which I do not) so it exempted me from penalty but said my husband would have to purchase insurance. If this is correct and we are filling for FAMILY coverage, do we now take out my part of OUR JOINT income and apply for insurance declaring only his income. Also, that application said NOTHING about any subsidy. So are we to assume that he does not qualify for a subsidy. The second application (actually the first but we couldn't get though it, so we finally started the second one which I've already described) I made with my name first. It finally got to the end but then said I need to verify who I am. So I tried to back up and change to my husband first and me as his spouse. WHAT A MISTAKE! Now the application has my husband first, my husband married to himself, and I am now their dependent! And it will not let me change this information. The third application got all the way to the review and I noticed that even though it shows that we are each others spouse, it says that we are not married and are not filling jointly! No matter how many times I go back, it WILL NOT CHANGE this information! I have filled out the paper application, met with a navigator, talked to the online chat people, and completed a phone application. AND STILL I CAN'T EVEN FIND OUT IF WE QUALIFY FOR A TAX SUBSIDY OR SEE THIS MARKETPLACE.
Submitted by Jim G on
After several attempts to select plan for family yesterday, I was able to complete the process and am enrolled!! The only problems I encountered were slow downs in performance no doubt due to traffic on the site. Appreciate all of the work that has been done. Despite all the difficulties the result was worth it. I saved almost $300 a month on a fixed income an got a better plan... Wished it would have worked without the glitches, but am sure glad site is working now! Keep up the good work...
Submitted by todd on
Enrolled without too many problems last night between 9PM and 11PM Texas time, kept it simple. Enrollment in a good plan was confirmed promptly this morning via email. I am a Mac user and I used Safari to enroll. I am extremely happy with the price for the marketplace plan which saves me about as much as a car payment for a new Chrysler 300C.
Submitted by Robert on
I have been trying to purchase a policy for 7 weeks. I have picked a plan but was immediately locked out of reviewing and submitting my plan for purchase. My application is complete, my eligibility verified and my tax credit is set. However, I have seen no way or purchasing and paying for my plan.
Submitted by Jim on
I have helped several people get through this system....my biggest problem is that I can not make corrections ...specifically to a typo error when entering the SSN. I have attempted to correct it several hundred times, but when I save and proceed, the system still uses the uncorrected SSN and will not proceed past that point.
Submitted by tyler on
my application is stuck at the verify identity part i uploaded documents but its been like a week or more and nothing.
Submitted by Kathy on
I went on the site for the second time and still had to start the application over and then got and error message. I called as instructed on the web site and called the 1-800 number and I was told by the representative to keep trying in a couple of days. I asked her if I continue to keep trying and the deadline runs out if I could tell President Obama what she instructed me and she said oh wow
Submitted by Cantera on
So, smart they have made this open forum on their site (sarcasm!) - so, any random person can respond randomly to anyone's comment - what a joke!!! Ms Kathy, I wish you all the best in your journey....because, you know it will be
Submitted by JohnT on
It is unfortunate that the metrics we are using are performance and error rates. The correct metrics to use are: 1. The number of people who attempt to register, are successfully registered 2. The number of people who attempt the enrollment process complete is successfully, including verification 3. The number of people who select insurance are successfully enrolled
Submitted by Richard on
I know a bit about IT politics. Stop measuring just by the number of bugs you have and fix. I usually save that for the guys about to be fired. Instead focus on the mission, Prioritize the bugs that prevent the mission. Get your servers operational and create a visible status for all to see and monitor. Error Id: dac53297-63c3-474c-8d56-c82b2f736078 Application Id: 154573207
Submitted by Richard on
You seemed to have fixed the duplicate address problem when asking to select where people live. That's nice, but Error Id: dac53297-63c3-474c-8d56-c82b2f736078 Application Id: 154573207 is a bigger, more fundamental problem.
Submitted by William on
System is up and down. Called in tonight to get my approved application moved to the next stage and just like last Thursday the system went down so they said call back in 24-48 hours. I want to see the baby.

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