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Ongoing Software Fixes to Improve User Experience

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Last night, we added several dozen software fixes to the HealthCare.gov website, as we continue to make steady progress towards ensuring that the site works smoothly for the vast majority of users by the end of November. These fixes address key functions of the site:  improving user experience; improving the enrollment process; and improving the workflow for agents, brokers and call center representatives.

Here are a few examples of last night’s fixes in each category:

  • First, to improve the user experience we’ve streamlined the site by removing potentially confusing screens and displays and adding helpful icons and calendar functions.
  • Second, to improve the enrollment process, several fixes focused on ensuring that information is correctly provided to  users as they navigate through the site, so that people can move more efficiently and effectively through the enrollment process, and can be assured that the input they provide to the system is displayed properly.
    We’ve also made changes to the summary and the review sections of the application so that information is displayed in a more user friendly manner. For example, records now show which coverage is being cancelled for a member—something particularly important to ensuring accuracy of 834 notices.
  • Third, to improve the workflow for agents, brokers and Call Center representatives, we undertook further improvements overnight to make it easier for them to work through the site.  For example, now Call Center representatives can get to Plan Compare without going through the entire application, again.  Additionally, Call Center representatives now no longer receive error messages when a search result does not return any records.

We experienced a 3 hour outage on the site on Wednesday afternoon, as well as a brief outage of 10 to 15 minutes Tuesday afternoon.  We understand how frustrating this is for users.  But it’s important to note that while HealthCare.gov is working better every day, there will be times when, like every website, it will not perform as it should. These were examples of those times. But in each instance, the team was able to fix the issue and get the system back online. Such occasional slowdowns and unscheduled outages may continue. 

We expect to make further progress in resolving high priority issues in the coming days. We still have work to do, but as progress to date demonstrates, HealthCare.gov is getting better and improving performance and user experiences each week.  We will continue to make improvements, and we won’t stop working until every American who wants it gains access to new options for quality, affordable 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 US citizen on
Did they hire retards to develop this website? "improve user experience" How about making a website that actually works.
Submitted by Rajendra Patel on
Error ID:500.300520 how can i fix this error????
Submitted by Josh on
When you log in, the site says your name, and asks "what would you like to do?" From there you click the link to the perpetually 'In progess' application. Before clicking the button that says "continue application," look to the left of the page. There are 7 options that can be selected. Report a life change will be the 4th from either top or bottom. I personally got hopeful and excited from Jerry's success, and the several who confirmed that it also worked for them. But for me the button to continue to do so is faded and acts like a dead link. Underneath that it says: "Start reporting life changes after you complete an application, or make changes on the application you've already started. You can also remove the application and start over." Of course, being unable to 'complete' my application after the digital signature error is what led me here in the first place. It doesn't make a difference if I try this while only a portion of the application is complete (make changes on the application you've already started). And as far as removing the application then starting over, I've done that maybe 8 times or more by now. Perhaps one more detail of interest; when I'm on the Profile page, underneath my name it does indeed say "Identity verified" with a green check mark beside it.
Submitted by Alex on
I keep getting the infamous 500.000888 error. I can complete my application, but then after giving the digital signature, it crashes, and shows that error. I tried it again in IE (was using Chrome) and I didn't get any error, but it still says my application is "In Progress" even though I've finished it, and been told it's been submitted several times, before getting that stupid error. How do you get around this? How can I make a "life change" or whatever, cause I see no options like that on this site.
Submitted by Josh on
Well, you see it by logging in (of course). Then on the left there are the choices for My Applications and Coverage, and for My Profile. In my applications section, click on the current one that you, I, and countless others have clicked and re-clicked repeatedly. Before you click on Continue Application, look to the left and there are 7 bullet points, which are all clickable. Report a life change is 4th choice in the center. All that being said, lucky me this option was still useless. When I go to it the button to begin is faded out and bottom of the screen says: "Start reporting life changes after you complete an application, or make changes on the application you've already started. You can also remove the application and start over." So from what I gather, being unable to get past the digital signature means that I (and from your post it seemingly applies to you as well) can't even try this. And to others I have tried to delete the application and restart quite a few times.
Submitted by Jon on
I just got my enrollment working too! aftter 2 weeks of Error ID:500.300588 and 20 hours on the phone calling in, 20 different applications- terrible!!! In Chrome: 1. I logged out completely. 2. I deleted my browsing history. 3. I relogged in and clicking "report a life change" 4. I reviewed my info step by step, and actually got my enrollment confirmed!!!! wow. awesome - i owe jerry a hug.
Submitted by Kyra on
Yes... Thank you Jerry. I just confirmed my own health insurance enrollment by doing the "Report a Life Change" and it worked!!!! Kudles Jerry...
Submitted by Paujo on
I just want to add that I also cleared all the recent history. I have no clue whether that has anything to do with it. While I doubt it, I want to add that this another thing that I did.
Submitted by Paujo on
I want to say that after 48 hours of non-stop trying to submit our application, and constantly getting the Error ID:500.300588, I finally conquered. I also did the report a life change, and went through and even though I didn't change any information, for some reason it worked. Very strange, but at least it worked. I wanted it to be effective March 1st, but after days of this, it won't be effective till April 1st. I don't care as long as we have coverage. One thing I changed was the address option. They had our address with the four digit code after the zip code. We don't use that code, but clicked on it as our address. This time, I kept our address as we use it without the code. Good Luck to everyone!
Submitted by Jenn C on
I had also been getting the Error ID:500.300588 for days without much success. I followed the advice of going to "Report a Life Change," and voilà! I was able to submit! I didn't even change anything.
Submitted by Megan on
I want to say thank you to Jerry who posted on 2/14! After trying unsuccessfully to get my application to go through and talking with the Healthcare.gov representatives repeatedly (who offered no advice other than to delete my application and resubmit it, which I had done three times already), I was finally able to make it work by trying your suggestion. So for everyone with Error ID:500.300588, there is hope! Click "Report a Life Change" and go through your application once again. It's not resubmitting a new application, as I still have the same application number I did before. But now I think I may actually be able to have health insurance! Thank you Jerry!
Submitted by Eric in New Mexico on
After pouring over this and other comments about Error ID:500.300588, I finally got past it! Here's my fix: 1. Using Firefox, I went to Preferences (I'm on a Mac, might be "Options" or similar on a PC) > Privacy, then under the "History" heading, click on "clear your recent history". I cleared everything. 2. I went to the left sidebar as someone had suggested, and chose "Report a Life Change". I chose "change application information". I went through and filled out everything exactly as before. (The only exception is that I entered my and my wife's SSN. I do NOT think this was the issue though, since the previous time I had filled out the application, I DID enter our SSN's, and got the same Error ID:500.300588.) 3. I proceeded to "Resume Application", followed the steps, and chose my plan. When I got to the part about Dental Insurance, I did something differently: The previous time (and possibly the time before when I also got the same error ID), I checked both boxes for each of our names, and chose the "No I don't want dental insurance" (or whatever that option says). I read the instructions carefully and it said check the boxes of those who DO want dental insurance. Even though the system let me past last time, I suspect this could have possibly been the problem. I did NOT check the box for either of our names, and clicked the "No I don't want dental insurance" (or whatever that option says). (This also corresponds to what someone else in comments on this site said about dental insurance being the issue for him.) Got to the final stage when I check the disclaimers and digitally sign, waiting for the Error ID:500.300588, but this time I got through to the part that talks about payment! After weeks of trying, hours and hours with customer service reps (who apologize but offer no real solutions), several applications with this and other issues, and finally searching online for a solution like I do with any troubleshooting... it finally worked! Big thanks to Jerry who submitted the part about the "report a life change", and Brian who talked about the dental insurance options being his issue. If you find a fix please report it here for others! Hope it helps! -Eric
Submitted by Jerry on
I finally fixed Error ID:500.300588 after two weeks of trying different tricks. Click on your application, then in the menu on the left is 'Report a Life Change'. Click on that, pick something from the list (I picked 'change application information'), then go through all of the steps to finish up the application. I then went to Resume Application, and went through the rest of the steps, like picking the tax credit amount and choosing the insurance plan. Finally, it worked! Hope this works for others. Good luck!
Submitted by Oscar on
I keep getting Error ID:500.300520 what's the fix? i've tried all different browsers and no luck
Submitted by landon on
Seriously what is up with the Error ID:500.300588?
Submitted by James Watson on
awesome and informative post. I read your post attentively and i solve my problem which i want. thanks for your kindness.
Submitted by mike on
The site needs to be put out of its----------------- I don't even know what to call it. He is a fix Mail me some money I will pay cash for health services
Submitted by Ron on
I too have been getting the notorious Error ID:500.300588 message when attempting to confirm the last steps of the marketplace application/plan-selection process. My application(s) always confirmed successfully, but after selecting both a health and dental plan I could never finish the confirmation process without getting the Error ID:500.300588. Today (4 applications later) I did something different, since simply creating new application didn't fix the problem. Instead of using a U.S. Post Office Box as my mailing address, and selecting to check the box that asks "No home address?" I instead used a relative's street address as both my mailing and home address, and I was finally able to finish the confirmation process successfully. Guess Mr. Obama doesn't want anyone signing up for his new health initiative if you're homeless or making less money than the poverty level (my first mistake). There's no medicaid for single adults in Texas, so this year I stated gross annual income of $11,500 after choosing a net monthly income of $200 (after deductions) which really isn't true, since after expenses there's nothing left - just living paycheck to paycheck (cash pay actually). Long story short, my new health and dental coverage now start March 1, 2014.
Submitted by Maja on
Been getting Error ID 500.806 for about 2 months in the 'Set Premium Tax Credit' section. Anyone know how to fix it? I would really hate to delete the application and start over.
Submitted by Mark on
For all those who are getting Error ID:500.300588. At this time calling the marketplace/help desk will not help. While they are friendly and do their best, their only recommendation is to delete the application and fill out a new one. If you've been reading other posts this may not work. At this time, I just helped a client get through this error. Please beware these are the steps I did and you may not have the same experience. Our first step was to go back into the application and click on the left side of the screen, Application details. Here we found a section/option named Qualified Health Plan eligibility. Under this section were unresolved Inconsistences. Even though my client mailed in this information a month ago, they still needed it. Now you can upload the required files which was convenient. So I scanned in her documents and uploaded them. Now it shows that the missing/required documents were submitted. Step 2, now we went back to the application and clicked continue. Because of a post I read, I clicked on the Set Premium Tax Credit option. Even though we had already done this and set her tax credit a month ago, we have found that her tax credit is now lower than what was previously stated and shown on her result documents. Called the marketplace and they had no answer for the difference. So we applied full amount of the adjusted tax credit. Step 3, which may not be required but just incase we also redid the answer questions about household of whether she smokes or not. Step 4, we picked her insurance plan. Even though we had already picked an insurance plan for her but with the new and adjusted tax credit, the difference in premium was quick large for the client so we picked a different plan. Final step, went through the disclaimers and clicked confirm. This is where we getting the error before and now we are through. Finally. Now we have the whole, you must pay your first months premium disclaimer. So that's what we did and my client is now just waiting for information from the insurance company. I hope this helps anyone else out there who went through the whole process, clicked confirm and got that damn error.
Submitted by Tommy on
I am trying to correct my home address in this POS program called Obamacare. Every time I do correct it, is says it wasn't saved and I get this error message: "Sorry, an error has occurred. Please try again. If that doesn't work, log out." Error ID:500.000888 Anybody got any suggestions, I have been unable to complete my application for Obamacare. Help.
Submitted by LH on
I need health insurance and have complete application. I want to pick a plan, but can't get thru. Now I see that the system was down and I was on the phone with them for hours. They were nice, but never mentioned that Im thinking it's me! Try google chrome instead of older versions of IE
Submitted by SLM on
"Qualified Health Plan eligibility: You have unresolved inconsistencies. You need to provide additional documentation." Click to go to the next page, and cannot upload ANYTHING. It's a shame that there are no easy ways to report errors, with a link or some such. I don't blame the government, I do blame whomever was in charge of designing the site, whomever didn't make sure there were enough people to double check the programming, and whomever is in charge of hiring enough people to do the job right the FIRST time.
Submitted by Kenneth on
I was able to upload the scanned documents from an Android tablet using the Chrome web browser. That was two weeks ago, and the website now shows my documents have been "Submitted". However, even after submitting the document, the website still says "Qualified Health Plan eligibility: You have unresolved inconsistencies. You need to provide additional documentation."
Submitted by SMJ on
You are good to go the key thing is that it says "submitted." Hopefully, you continued and selected a healthcare plan and paid for it or will do that by the end of March. Just a quirk that the notice is still there. Same thing is showing on mine but it says it has been "submitted."