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A Weekend of Work Brings System Progress

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Today, Julie Bataille, Director of Communications for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provided an operational update on the Health Insurance Marketplace.  In Julie’s own words -  

“Earlier today the FFM online application and enrollment system experienced a brief, unscheduled outage. That lasted for approximately 90 minutes.  While the application and enrollment tools were not available, the Federal Data Services Hub remained fully operational during this time.  As we noted last week, we have found both hardware and software issues that we must address as part of our improvements. We have core teams in place to identify and prioritize fixes in these areas. As we expose more volume to the system, we may identify additional issues and we will continue to work through them. This is frustrating. We are on an aggressive path to make improvements and we will do just that.”

Over this past weekend, we made more than a dozen important fixes to the HealthCare.gov application and enrollment system to improve performance and functionality. The HealthCare.gov site is working better than it did last week, as we continue to take steps to ensure a better consumer experience.  We are making progress moving through priority fixes and crossing items off the punch list, one by one. 

Specifically, we began fixes to correct information on 834 notices.  These 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.  We have been working closely with the issuer community to identify, test, and put in place fixes to improve these forms.  The notices now should reflect proper date/time stamps, qualified health plan identification numbers, and consumer contact information.

The ongoing fixes we are making to enhance the application itself will make a meaningful difference to consumers using the system and to insurance companies processing transactions on their end.  Another example includes fixes to improve the functionality of the “Save and Continue” button in the application, allowing consumers to more readily save their work, continue or come back without frustration. 

We will continue to take steps to improve the reliability of transactional data, which is important to tracking progress over time as we work to report on overall program metrics moving forward.

Lastly, as part of our weekend work, we also upgraded hardware so that our system now has more redundancy – improving stability and scalability – adding dedicated switches in the Verizon/Terremark data center to help prevent a recurrence of the kind of issues associated with last week’s system outages. 

We now 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.

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Submitted by kathleen on
It is now November 20, and Highmark Blue Shield of Pennsylvania still did not get my enrollment information from October 17. My application and enrollment has been checked many times and is correct. The insurance company, myself, and healthcare.gov even had a conference call confirming, but the insurance company wants the e-file. So I guess your connection with Highmark isn't the greatest is it! What a altered state of reality you guys are living in. How do you sleep at night. YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO RESEND INSURANCE ENROLLMENT INFORMATION AGAIN TO THE INSURANCE COMPANIES!!!!!
Submitted by James on
I have been trying to enroll in a health plan for 32 days and still cannot. When I try to RESUME ENROLLMENT it says there may be issues with my application, but doesn't tell me where, or how, I go to correct them. I'm still in limbo. I tried calling the so called Help Center, with no help. They continue to provide the canned response of TRY AGAIN LATER. This has been going on for 32 days.
Submitted by Barbara on
Applied, approved, on Oct 7th over the phone which took 2 hours and got a confirmed number. I have not heard anything since then. I was told I would get something in the mail in 2 -5 days. Nothing came. How can I pay by Dec. 15th if no other information is sent to me? I called today and they said it is pending. Well what is pending? They told me to wait a little longer. Does the insurance company have the information? Nobody has an answer.I do not know what to do at this point.
Submitted by Anonymous on
What a total bust. Shows you what government does best... Collect money from you, spend your money of lousy ideas, and blame someone else for the failure. Obama is the best in US history at all three of these shameless deeds. May history judge him as such forever.
Submitted by Billy on
Still cannot log in......
Submitted by Anonymous on
Submitted by Cathy on
I finally was able to get a user and pw to log on, but every time I try to do so it never loads-just says authenticating......You need to break this into more servers per state so it can be accessed. And maybe delay until you get all your bugs out....
Submitted by DeeGee on
Looking at the comments from 11/06 and 11/07 below, it seems that they are running like 15:1 unfavorable to favorable. Something is seriously wrong here. That Nov 30 date is going to come and go pretty quickly, so the people working on this site need to really pick up the pace. People have to enroll and pay by Dec 15 to get insurance effective for Jan 1. I am sure when Zients was brought in with 5 weeks left to Nov 30, it seemed like a lot of time. But the way software projects work, is that something comes up, like every day, to blow away time, and not hit schedule dates.
Submitted by Becky on
I am very impatictant right now. I tried to get the health care on the web since Oct 1. Every time I have redone to application 12 time. Veritfation has been a problem. I called verificatiuon was told to call Marketplace for a manel ref number. I was told by Marketplace they can't do that.
Submitted by Teri on
Its time for the Obama administration to do some much needed PR regarding the many problems including why health insurance policies have been canceled. As a strong proponent for the ACA, I feel that all of the negative publicity hasn't been countered by the good stories, of which I know there are many. Please turn the conversation around for the millions who really do or will benefit from the ACA.
Submitted by Noyb on
Still can't log in. Online chat and phone operators still useless.
Submitted by Rickey on
I can not get the policy's to link my wife. They only have my name. When will I know that the price for a policy includes both my wife and myself?
Submitted by Mel on
I am uncomfortable giving all my personal info before I see the details of the plans ie I want to know the plan I am interested in before I spend the time applying. What does the plan pay for? What are the deductibles?
Submitted by Patti on
The eligibility results of my application were 'Eligible for a tax credit ($0 each month, which is $0 for the year)' and 'Eligible to purchase health coverage through the Marketplace'. The text of one of the paragraphs was, "...unfortunately you do not qualify for help in paying for health coverage through the Marketplace." My health insurance is ending Dec. 31, 2013, my navigator assured me that I am a prime candidate for a subsidy. I don't want to appeal, but I would like to edit some iffy answers I gave on the application form. Neither one of us can get back to my application and we have no idea why I am not eligible for a tax credit. What course of action should I take?
Submitted by Michael on
Your problem is the same as mine. See my comments of yesterday. The only thing thats worse then the Marketplace is dealing with the insurance companies for the last five years.
Submitted by Earle on
According to the system, my application was completed on 10/14/13. It gave me an application ID #. However, I have not been able to get to any information on the policies available to me. I live in Illinois.
Submitted by Ana on
I have the same issue, it says my application was completed however my identity needs to be verified. I uploaded proof of identity(several times) and mail copy of same. Each and every time I log on, it shows application in progress. I live in Florida.
Submitted by Seth on
Obamacare is a disaster and our country is headed into a dark hole. This is not what we need.
Submitted by Brian on
Logins are busted on the site again. Every time I enter my login info, the page refreshes, this occurs in IE, FF, and Chrome. I still want to know when the hell the identity verification portion of this website is going to be fixed. I uploaded a picture of my driver's license to the site over a month ago now, and my verification is still pending. I seriously doubt the site will be fixed by the end of the month. And while you might be able to see plans, plan levels, and pricing info, you still CANNOT see what is included in plans as far as deductibles and coverage provided goes. /sigh
Submitted by Dane on
I still can not enroll or view plan information when I logon. So far I have heard this is not affordable at all. So how am I going to pay the bills I currently have and now insurance? Can I have Obama pay for my bills that way I ca afford health insurance?
Submitted by Dave on
Keep it up everyone - this website will help MILLIONS of people get insurance, literally saving thousands of lives each year, i think this message is lost in all the moaning and complaining sometimes but it really shouldnt be. Keep working hard and know its greatly appreciated!
Submitted by Cindy in Nebr. on
I applied on line could not get idenity verified. Experian did not get "anything from Web site" telling them I needed to be verified-was told to call market place! Called Market place-she said to upload birth certicate or Drivers license on the site-identy could be verified from that. *SO I did that by the way it takes TWO pieces of identification NOT one..ok it has now been 4 weeks...still no verification on my identity. Called Market place 800 again--I was told the bugs are still being worked out they have no idea how long it may take--could not tell me if I should just try & re apply--GOOD GOSH I need this done by NOV 15 loose my current coverage then..Any one
Submitted by Kathy on
I filled out an application online last saturday for healthcare quotes and my status is still pending.will i receive info soon
Submitted by Don G on
Please make the info entered to determine subsidies changable and display this information to the person when quoting what prices are based on. A week ago I forgot to take my paid vacation into the income totals and now have inaccurate data. I am told the only way to solve this is to have customer service kill the application completely and have me start over. Then to get that done is supposed to take 2-5 days but I am now on my 3rd 2-5 day period as every time someone else looks at it the clock seems to start all over again. Also the values shown on the summary page don't match those on the details pages or the insurance providers pages. So either some other unseen discounts are being invisibly applied or the values are wrong for 50% of the listings I've looked at. Also state the information that the 1st month's premium is due and payable immediately when the enrollment is submited. I didn't realize till it was too late that I would have to pay the January premiums NOW.
Submitted by James on
Just tried creating an account but unable to do so because your system asks for the state I live in, which is New York, yet your list of state options is missing "New York."