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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 Jon on
This website is a disaster. I have been trying since the beginning of October to complete an application online and it is impossible. I cannot get beyond the section to determine how much of a tax credit you want to take. The screen shows this error at the top: Error ID:500.806 I have talked to several different people via the chat system and they are no help at all. And suggestions to empty cache or cookies are absurd. Many, many computer users don't even know what that means, and no useable website should require you to do either of those things, just to use the website.
Submitted by Glynis on
For tips and tricks on how to move through the site to enroll in a plan and help troubleshooting the common problems being posted here, Google: "my obamacare success story: It was worth the wait!"
Submitted by Jeffrey on
Can someone tell me without using a script why I haven't been able to view plans or compare plans in the enrollment section for the past 3 weeks???? Application is done, eligibility done. on the 3rd box in the check list and have been stuck here for 3 weeks. Have called the number provided now over 40 times. All I get is a scripted response. This is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE.
Submitted by Yari on
I've had this same issue. I'm speaking to a real live person, but the responses I get are scripted responses that have to do with the question, but they're not ACTUAL answers. I can never get a clear answer. It's almost like they don't know, so they're vague as not to get in trouble.
Submitted by Navigator Jan on
Hello, Can anyone tell me why the advanced tax credit amount calculted in the Marketplace Application is inaccurate sometimes. For example, providing different plans rates for people within the same tax bracket or- not allowing a tax credit at all. Is this a technical glitch? Thank you.
Submitted by JASHU PATEL on
I have the same Problem, which lynn has. It did not allow me to go after household info sec. giving message system is down
Submitted by Jimmy on
High Priority - Error ID:500.806
Submitted by Barbara on
I am getting the same error message. No one at the 800 number seems to know a solution. Only try again later.
Submitted by Marc on
I cannot get beyond the tobacco page, every time I hit enter it cycles to the same page.
Submitted by Louise on
Got a user name and password about Oct. 2nd. Could never log in. The call center said someone would call me(really!) to help. I just went ahead and made a new account which I could log in on. Good thing cuz no one has called.However, since then can't get to the income section - message says site down ALWAYS! Was told on Nov. 4 an "expert" would call me in 2-5 days and the call person also would send a paper app because when I,she said no, can't download(wrong!). Last week when I called the call center person went thru my app online, got same glitch. Said she talked to her supervisor and my app would be online within 48 hours from the info she took from me. Said I could edit numbers then if necessary. NOT. Still can't get thru app and it says it's incomplete. Called 11/19 was told same prob. She said it qualifies for expedited person review, who will....call me in 2-5 days. Really?! Then she saw the notes that said that happened Nov. 4th, 2 weeks prior. Mmmm....Think anyone is gonna call me Thanksgiving week? We are in the state high risk pool for pre-existing health patients. Just got our notice that our premium to stay will be $2500 PER MONTH due Dec 15. Nice....probably have to pay as doesn't look like my app will be processed in time, if at all. And if it does, guess I'll spend xmas reviewing insurance plans. Very nice...
Submitted by Lynn on
I am still trying to get past the household info section. I get a "system down" message which I have gotten numerous times for over a week. This is the second application I have submitted and have been trying to purchase insurance since the web site opened. Hello, is anyone listening? I haven't seen any fixes as far as I'm concerned. My first application keeps looping back on the sign in page. This just sucks!!!! And get rid of the TV advertisements if we can't get on the web site how are we suppose to get any bloody insurance.
Submitted by Chuck on
Here's how my user experience can be improved : my enrollment checklist is locked at the review / confirm step with a message to check my application details. But my application details says I'm complete. Also, my eligibility notification PDF letter says I'm eligible for zero but my application has the correct non-zero subsidy applied to my premium. Do I have to start over again? I already started over and still have an other application waiting for an uploaded identity verification document to be reviewed. Your data storage capacity problems would be a lot less if millions of users didn't have to create 3, 4, or more duplicate applications in hopes that one will go through
Submitted by Glynis on
people who have this same problem called the 800 number and they were able to fix it.
Submitted by Jim on
I have been trying to complete "create an account" for several weeks now and I am having the same problems now as when I started. I see no fixes. The "chat" line offered is a waste of tax dollars.
Submitted by Linda on
I have been trying since Oct 3. to sign up. I am waiting for someone from Accounts Resolution to contact me by tomorrow. I am not holding my breath! In the meantime, 3 days ago I created a new account/application under my husband's name. Everything was going smoothly until you get to the question about. "Are any of these people a full time student?" I click on "None of the Above." Every time I hit the CONTINUE BUTTON, nothing happens except the bottom of the page gets mumble jumbled! I contacted an agent through CHAT and they suggested I get a paper application. They were not interested in the glitch. I want and need insurance but I can't get it! Very frustrated!!!!!
Submitted by Glynis on
Delete your cookies and temporary internet files at that point, logout, restart your browser and login again.
Submitted by Jennifer on
when can i finally terminate the plan i chose in error back in October? I have been trying for 5 weeks and not one person can help except say "it is a glitch, be patient". Well I don't have time to spend an hour on hold each day phoning the Advanced Resolution Center. I am concerned I won't be able to get coverage in time..
Submitted by Karen on
I am stuck on the set tax credit page. I had it set the other day and was picking my plan and I went back the next day and it says I need to set my tax credit. The slide thing is not there to say how much or if I want to use all of my credit. I have called in numerous times and can't get an answer. I have been working on this whole application from day one!
Submitted by Joe on
Is anybody in any official capacity connected with this website going to respond to any of the issues presented here?
Submitted by Glynis on
It doesn't look like they are monitoring comments.
Submitted by Tony on
I have had it - Now I am stuck at Error ID:500.806. I am simply going to extend my existing Blue Cross plan for another year. My relatively healthy family will not be in the ACA population. I sincerely don't want our country to go back to a time when health insurance companies could deny or drop health coverage because of conditions beyond an individual's control. I would also like to see an end to the insured paying for care provided to the uninsured, thereby decreasing the cost of care for the insured. Having said that, the individuals who are responsible for the healthcare.gov website should refund EVERY DIME that they have received for their efforts, both in the private and public sectors. There is no way you irresponsible, incompetents should keep a penny for your efforts given the thousands of hours of time you have wasted this country. I am for health care reform and truly wished the goals of the ACA can be achieved. There is no way that will happen. Thank you all at HHS and your incompetence for ruining health care reform.
Submitted by Chuck on
My application is complete and I'm supposedly enrolled. The status says initial enrollment. But I don't see anything showing where to send my premium payments.
Submitted by Glynis on
Contact the insurance company.
Submitted by Ketan on
Keep up the good work !! You guys are making right progress and moving in right direction to resolve all the issues users are facing that are outlined in the comments of your various blog posts and media channels. I wish there were no issues in the first place however being transparent on the approach you are taking and keeping everyone informed on the progress is fantastic. I am sure lot of IT departments in private corporations can learn from this. Keep making progress !!!
Submitted by Crystal on
I finally was able to submit an application, which has been accepted, except that I cannot enroll because there is "a message in Marketplace" but I see nowhere to actually read any message and I just end in an error loop - go to application details, submit enrollment, go to application details to fix errors before proceeding, then when I go to application details, there is no error and I'm approved, but then I still can't get to the enrollment process.