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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/.

Join the Conversation


Submitted by Sue on
Says who - Fox News?
Submitted by Carl on
Can we see the punch list so we can be sure our issues are on it?
Submitted by Floyd on
Great idea!!! but more realistically insert the word "not" twixt "are" and "on"...
Submitted by Glynis on
My advise to anybody who started an application in October and is still stuck in identify verification or some other place in the application is to create a new account with a new username, new password, and new email address and start over. Delete cookies and temporary internet files first. With all these fixes to the user experience you might have more luck with an entirely new account so you'll see all the new fixes.
Submitted by JIT on
certain browser add ons can also impact functionality, so disable browser extensions as well if you run into issues. Try different browsers too, Firefox, Chrome, Safari will run on both Windows and Macintosh.
Submitted by Yonnie on
I had no luck with a new account. The website was much quicker to get to the stuck in identity verification black hole. Experian tells me that they verified my identity 10/4 and can't do it again. CSRs insist on having a conference call with Experian when I call. They don't believe that I've been there and done that with and without a CSR multiple times. This issue has been escalated four times and appears to not to be a problem that the CSRs have any information about.
Submitted by Kathy on
That doesn't work either
Submitted by robin on
I tried modifying my account to generate a premium balance due (instead of having a zero premium plan due to subsidy) and being in a "black hole" of no-response. Well, instead of modification, it created a new account and now it shows I have applied for TWO policies. More confusion. I don't know what to tell you. No one calls me back, even though they have made multiple promises. It is so frustrating and nerve-racking. I am losing coverage soon and need health insurance due to chronic health issues.
Submitted by David on
I had no problem with the whole process- was quick and easy. I waited until Nov. 21st to start and it was easy. Read the instructions and follow them. Thank you President Obama!!!!!
Submitted by Lee on
Submitted by Linjune on
Maybe we should get tecky help from India
Submitted by James Wimberley on
From your earlier comment, you have tried using a new username and password. Have you tried with a different email account? You can get one easily and free from gmail, hotmail or yahoo. You don't have to use it again later for anything else. Note HHS' tip sheet: https://www.healthcare.gov/blog/3-tips-to-remember-when-you-create-a-marketplace-account/ My pennyworth is to set up a new user account on your computer, so that the browser copy is only ever used for health signup. Write your data on a crib sheet before you begin, and take as great care in entering data as you would on an ATM.
Submitted by Celia on
I had almost every problem that I have read about here. I tried a new application with a new user name, new email, no history or cookies, etc. I uploaded income verification. I waited. It worked. I got a confirmation letter from BCBS Florida and I'm all set for 1/1/14. Keep trying. It is worth it. I had to sign up for the cheapest dental that I don't want, but I will cancel later. At least I have health insurance. If you are constantly fighting to fix errors and find that the changes just won't stick, try a new application if you aren't too far into the process. They need a "cancel and start over" button, but for some reason just haven't figured out how to help all so us who started in October and got stuck.
Submitted by Anonymous on
How long did it take for income verification to take place? I'm stuck on submitted with that and now have an error when trying to do the last step of the application which is to hit a green confirm button
Submitted by Glynis on
it depends on what your problem is. Most of the people that are trying it are finding it works.