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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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Comments

Submitted by Stuart on
I have been waiting over 1 month for "identity verification" after uploading my NC driver's license to the site. By the way, I have lived in the same house for 35 years, no name change, etc. but still cannot receive identity verification in a timely fashion. So I am stuck and unable to apply for insurance.
Submitted by John Cantrell on
I have been trying to purchase a plan from the Markrt Place but have been unable to enroll. There are no phone numbers for Insurance companies and when I called MarketPlace I was told they could not help me choose. I already knew that but I cant even access the plans or companies to make a choice. I have been trying to for over 30 days now and it has been a total nightmare. I have a User ID and Password, completed application but I cant enroll and that truly makes nosense. I would greatly appreciate any assistance I can get on this very important matter.
Submitted by Jeff on
After I sign in, and click on "Get Insurance" on top in blue, it takes me to the application page where I click on "Apply Online" in green. After this it takes me to another page that says "Get Started" in green. When I click that, it logs me out then brings me back to the log in page. It's an unending cycle and I STILL CANNOT even get to the application.
Submitted by Getting it right? - LOL on
I just tried to use the 'estimator' before putting my personal information into the non-secure database. I put my age in as over 50. When it brought the list up, it included the Young Adult Catastrophic plans. I thought I was NOT eligible for them? Is that on the punch list for correction before 'Judgement Day'?
Submitted by teddy on
you guy are doing A GREAT JOB....the opponents to "obamacare" are praying that you guys fall flat on your face...i know you won't let us down...every day in every way...you guys are making it better and better....THANKS!!!!
Submitted by Patricia on
My application has been processed, but when I try to get my results I get a page with a web address having the very last word..../null/. The page is blank.
Submitted by Anthony Miller on
What percentage of people can't complete the application process online initially compared to currently? This type of information will help to show the extent of the problem that exist and improvements made to website. Also, are there certain outdated software or certain systems on users computers that may create problems for the users? If so, should you not warn them that they may have to update certain software or use certain browsers to ensure the online application process is completed?
Submitted by Greg on
Generally I would say those who say this website is improving are liars or incompetent politicians. It is no better than the 1st day of operation.
Submitted by Esther on
I followed the advice of another commenter here and started a brand-new account (new e-mail address, new username, new password) and a brand-new application. It was like the difference between night and day and worked instantly. Based on the comment I read, and my own experience yesterday, I think people like us who started on the 1st day of operation are unlikely to break out of the endless loops without doing this as a way to start over.
Submitted by Carla on
On Tuesday the 5th for the first time I saw the policies available for Virginia. I should have copied them but my I.Q. is starting to drop from over a month on this site. The policies have now returned to never,never land never to be seen again. Why?
Submitted by Locked in Healthcare.gov on
Help! I have been trapped on this site since the middle of October. I cannot navigate away from it. It has essentially taken over my computer. I have tried entering other site addresses into Explorer, closing down Explorer, turning the PC off and then on again, but nothing works. Whenever I open Explorer back up - bang, I am right back at the same site - my computer is now captive to Healthcare.gov. This is completely unacceptable. Can someone please help me understand what can be done to correct this?
Submitted by James Wimberley on
If I were you, I would try clearing out the browser cache, cookies and history using the freeware cleanup program CCleaner. You could also try using a different browser such as Chrome or Firefox. They allow you to import your favourites from IE on installation or later.
Submitted by Chip on
Yes! Don't ever, ever, ever again vote Democrat.
Submitted by kathleen on
this sight is worse than the other day. I can't get anywhere now! Call help center and they can't get anywhere either tell me what is going on! Is it the state of Florida where I live that having this type of problem all I want is insurance I don't have any and haven't had any for 10 yrs.
Submitted by David on
I am an agent in Tennessee. I have enrolled several families this week. Seems to be getting better!!!
Submitted by Anonymous on
1. I cannot view my eligibility results 2. I get an e-mail telling me I have notice to view. I log in and do not see where to view my notice. In the e-mails about notices. They need to tell you in the e-mail exactly where to go once you have logged in to view the notices.
Submitted by Joe on
Where is the log in area? is the site off line? Also waiting to see my eligibilty to buy insurance.
Submitted by Anne on
I sure hope those who are trying to fix the glitches are reading these comments and acting upon them in a reasonable time and let folks know they are being heard.
Submitted by Roger on
This site is trash, keeps kicking me off, it was not ready! why in the hell did you even start it. I and you know why! I wont go there cause it wont matter. Amazon gets over 20 million hits a day and they function just fine! 2014 elections are going to to fun! A pissed of disabled viet-nam vet.
Submitted by teddy on
take it easy Roger...your blood pressure is going thru the roof...You can use any VA facility in the country...and YOU ...know that....stop pretending to be so upset
Submitted by Michael on
In the early days of mass confusion I was told if your application was screwed up you could send a paper copy along with Page 6 from your application and they would download the corrections required. I'm terrified of trying this. If I send this info to London KY. as indicated God knows what will happen. Anyone tried this?
Submitted by Michael on
We file a joint return for taxes. We applied on line showing a joint income of $36440 yearly income.I have insurance she does not. On October 10th we were notified by the Marketplace that we did not qualify for a tax credit but we do for medicaid. The subsidy calculator say we will receive a credit not medicaid. What is going on ?
Submitted by carol on
It seems there may be more problems than technical...not really sure since I can't access past the security questions BUT is the site designed to be people friendly to the populations it must meet so everyone has access to quality healthcare
Submitted by Gabe on
For weeks now, I have not been able to get past the log-in screen. I submit my log-in credentials and get bumped back to the log-in screen as though nothing happened. No errors or any other information are displayed. The only thing different is a series of parameters added to the URL. I had gotten as far as setting up some user information but had not even begun the application.
Submitted by Ed on
11:07 AM on Thursday the 7th -- Completed enrollment info but the system could not process my application and was instructed to try later.

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