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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 pat on
for the last 8 days every time I try to log on I get errors http 501 505 I absolutely have to have insurance because mine was cancelled.Please quit telling lies about system getting better and start making some permanent fixes.
Submitted by Andrew on
When I am on https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/auth/NC/en_US/individualApplication?appId=108258558#eligibilityResults and click "view eligibility results" it takes me to https://www.healthcare.gov/ee-rest/auth/NC/en_US/DocumentManagementEE/DocumentFromECM?fileIdentifier=null which is a blank page. It's been this way for weeks.
Submitted by Deborah on
Identity can not be verified. Experian has verified twice. Uploaded document for verification twice. Continues to say "verification under review". No one at the 800 number can help. What should I do?
Submitted by Gary on
I got to the security questions and was told I can't use the same answers for the three questions. I used distinctly different answers. This web site is a joke. This Obamacare is a joke.
Submitted by Carol on
I have completed the application but I am still not able to view my eligibility results. What is your time frame for fixing this? I cannot purchase insurance until I view this message. Should I just go directly to the insurance company at this point because I am pretty sure I am to eligible for any tax subsidies.
Submitted by Julie on
My son was able to enroll by patiently adding to his application over a period of weeks, but there isn't any confirmation or follow up message to find out what to do next. The insurance premium is supposed to be payed by January in order for enrollment to be complete, but there is no way to retrieve that payment information which was displayed during the enrollment process.
Submitted by Diane on
You people lie through your teeth. I have submitted multiple applications on line and through your so called help line. Your people REFUSE to give me any plan descriptions or prices. All you do is get MY info and keep me hanging! Where are my PRICES??????? J. Castro's (D) office was even going to send a rep to my house, and she finally said SHE couldn't help me!!!!
Submitted by Alena Cater on
Can you fix the system so it does not assign you a husband when you don't have one. It is me and my two children. Yet the system married me to my son and there is no way to fix it. There should be a date of birth check system alert for marriage anyways. How can someone be married to a 9 year old boy? In the very least there should be a way to delete old October applications that are not finished and start again. Why is there no way to edit marriage area?
Submitted by Mohammad on
I can't move past from: Keep hiting SAVE & CONTINUE nothing happening. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Are any of these people full time students? S Doe Does S Doe have a parent living in the same state where Safa sheikh goes to school? Yes No None of these people
Submitted by David on
My family and I are beyond frustrated, we are desperate! We are paying over $1000.00 a month for COBRA insurance and it will end January 1, 2014. My wife and I both have disabling pre-existing conditions. We require several medications to be able to function enough to maintain employment. My wife works at a private school that does not offer insurance. I am a clergyman and am considered self-employed. For budget and non-profit reasons I have to report to a board of directors. In order to secure my salary for 2014 I have to, by November 18, 2013, submit to the board what my insurance will cost me. Therefore, I began enrolling in Healthcare.gov on OCTOBER 1, 2013. As of today, NOVEMBER 7, 2013 I STILL DON'T have notification from Healthcare.gov as to who, how much and when I will have insurance. IT TOOK A MONTH just to get an application completed and the call center informed me that I WILL HAVE EVERYTHING in the US mail to me by the middle of this week. WELL THIS WEEK IS ALMOST OVER and nothing has arrived in my mailbox. I just went on the web-site to try again and now the website is down. PLEASE, WE ARE BEGGING FOR AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE!!! As a clergyman, I may not agree with everything this insurance will BE REQUIRED to cover but I NEED HEALTHCARE. GET THIS MATTER FIXED. AFTER ALL IT IS THE LAW!
Submitted by Esther on
Quick question: Have you tried starting over online with a brand-new account (new username, password, and e-mail address), followed by a fresh new application? Someone suggested doing that in these comments, I tried it yesterday, and it worked like a champ. I asked the phone reps if this was a problem, since I was "leaving behind" an incomplete failed application, and I was told no, many people are doing this. At a minimum, you will immediately be able to see the costs -- premiums minus subsidies -- for various plans even before you are fully enrolled, and can share those costs with your board of directors. The peskiest thing for you may be to get a new e-mail address to try this strategy, but there are a number of free e-mail services online. Best wishes for a successful resolution of this situation.
Submitted by gina on
im from ohio and i cant even get on anymore...it saying site is not available....so im not sure whats going on anymore...
Submitted by John on
I completed enrollment Oct. 11, but heard nothing for 3 weeks. I called Blue Cross but the person told me they couldn't look in their system to see if it really went through. Unsatisfied, I asked for a supervisor who in about 2 minutes found my completed and approved application. Since then I have gotten a phone call and a welcome letter so it looks like I'm in. Be patient and wait out the blank screens.
Submitted by John on
Great improvements on the site - much faster than the first time I tried it on October 1 Two comments: 1 Using the browse feature to find plans and rates (I used Florida), there were 147 plans available but they would only show 10 at a time in very large boxes with alot of wasted space. If I wanted to see the really good plans, that was 15 clicks of the mouse to see all the plans. I think a better page could be developed to display all of the available plans on one page (less mouse clicks- less traffic - better speed) 2. On the page https://www.healthcare.gov/contact-us/ - if you click the email button - the subject line is filled in but nothing in the "To" field. I would assume "contact us" would have the ability to contact someone responsible for the site. I am a Software Engineer and would welcome a chance participate in the software coding or to be a site tester
Submitted by Maria on
I still don't see improvement to my end and still cant enroll. VERY worried I need coverage to start jan 1. December 14 is almost there. Then what ?
Submitted by Bob on
Another day of wasting my time trying to simply create an account. No luck yet.
Submitted by Diane on
As my day one account is stuck in verify identity limbo I tried to create a new account with a new email address and I am completely floored that I still a month and a half and BILLIONS of dollars later can not even create an account! It keeps telling me that two or more of my security answers to the questions can not be the same when they are NOT the same and I can not create an account at this time. Is this all a bad joke? And why are we all leaving comments and NOBODY is responding?
Submitted by JEP on
I've been stalled at view at the non-functional "View Eligibility Results" screen for past 3 weeks. I've called the help number at least 10 times and they have the same problem and tell me to check back later. While they always apologize for the problems, apologies don't get me where I need to go. Some people seem to be successful by starting over with a new email address. Since I only have the one email account, is there any way that I can delete my account and start over? With my current policy being cancelled on 12/31, I'm getting worried that I won't have insurance when I need it. Can anyone help?
Submitted by James Wimberley on
Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail will allow you to create a new free email account easily, or add an account to one you already have with them. The only problem with these large providers is that the username you want (say John.Smith@gmail.com) may already be taken, so you may end up with say John1234.Smith@gmail.com. If you want CyrusQ.Hackenberger@gmail.com, you may be in luck!
Submitted by george on
ARE THERE PRICES??? i cant purchase something without knowing how much, I mean do you want dollars pesos rubles, reich marks body parts i just wat to know what the prices are or should i commit a crime and go to prison for FREE HEALTHCARE!!!
Submitted by John on
I've been waiting for my identity to be verified for 3 weeks. I uploaded AND mailed proof in. I just keep getting a message that my identity isn't verified and my application is still in progress. I call the marketplace and they tell me they are working on it.....For 3 weeks...
Submitted by Mohammad on
11/6/2013 -6:13pm. When I tried to login, I am getting white blank page until I hit my name on top of scree. Also, getting error page when I try to validate my account. It was not happening few days before but I was not moving after entering my children information. I am hoping it will work now and I don't have to enter all my application again. Thanks Error message - after try to validate my information/. Sorry, we can't find that page on HealthCare.gov We've recently reorganized our site, and that may explain it. It's also possible that you typed the address incorrectly. Search HealthCare.gov SEARCH Please include the reference ID below if you wish to contact us at 1-800-318-2596 for support. Error from: https%3A//www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/auth//en_US/myAccount%3Ffrom%3DmyProfile%23IDProofingGetStarted Reference ID: 0.cd772d17.1383779876.110d33b0.238110
Submitted by Cassie on
I went online got stuck after verification and chatted and then was told to phone. Phone person couldnt enroll me either. I am not angry, I feel sad that this is not working.
Submitted by Russ on
This is Russ again. I had success using my wife's name and a new email account. Thanks
Submitted by Michael on
What about the identity verification issue? The system keeps telling me my identity is not verified and says I have a notice about this, but it doesn't let me see the notice and the hotline can't see my application to be able to help. I am in an endless loop. How do I get MY application unstuck?