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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 Lou on
I have started an application about 4 times so far. Each time I get a little farther but still run into a roadblock each time and can't advance. The most current one "appears" to have completed but when I try to view eligibility results I get a blank screen. It's been about a week on this one checking back a couple of times a day. Will it do any good at this point to start yet another application or should I wait a couple more weeks. I have to start over each time with a new email address.
Submitted by Jan on
Have bee trying since Oct 1 got caught up in a glitch called on 0ct 12 and verbally did application over the phone. October 14 got a letter in my account needing a copy of drivers license to verify identity...stuck there ever since......will our applications move forward or do we need to start at the beginning....getting nervous
Submitted by June on
In the preview of plans/prices prior to application, the Silver BCBS plan I like is listed on Healthcare.gov $422.77/mo without subsidies or other help, but when I look at the enrollment prices after my application is complete, (I can't view eligibility details), but I can go to the enroll step where the Healthcare.gov site lists the same Silver BCBS plan for $680.07/mo. This is a huge difference. Why is there such inconsistency? This is very misleading and makes one question the accuracy of your data.
Submitted by Karen on
Created a new account today and submitted the application several times but it didn't seem to go anywhere. Now i have 3 messages on my account page about my eligibility but no way to read or download the messages.
Submitted by Vickie on
In my experience, when I have had system problems of one kind or another, my problem has been logged with a ticket number. Then I usually get an email with the statement of the problem. Any corrective action is logged against the ticket and whoever I talk to refers back to the ticket. This gives continuity to the problem resolution. It also reassures the user that something is actually being done. The way the healthcare.gov problems are being managed is a mystery to the users. We report the problem, get a vague answer and a request to try again later. So, we ware left with the impression that nothing can be done and nothing is being done.
Submitted by Jeanne on
stuck in verification pending since 10/12 - when I uploaded my DL on request. Calls for tech support don't help. Can you purge me, and let me start over?
Submitted by Laurel on
I have tried to create an account on healthcare.gov on three different occasions. After choosing my 3 security questions and listing 3 different answers, I get a page that tells me my answers need to be different and that it cannot create my account. I've tried creating an account in different browsers with the same results. Will this problem be addressed soon so I may enroll?
Submitted by Preston on
After electronically signing the app., my profile page shows that my identify is verified but there is no continue or submit button so I am stuck on this page and have to log out. How do I continue from the profile page?
Submitted by JEP on
I registered on 10/8 and have called 800 number numerous times. I get to the screen where it says my eligibility results are ready. But the "view eligibility results" button has no functionality. When speaking to your representatives they say they have the same problem. Your website says that you will e-mail my results, but haven't seen any emails. I would just like to see whether I'm eligible for a subsidy and find out what my health plan options are. Because my current individual plan is being cancelled effective at the end of the year, I need to shop for a new plan and unable to get anywhere with this website. I have little confidence that I'll be able to obtain coverage through this website before my current coverage ends. Thanks,
Submitted by Mike on
In the review there is no information in the "applying for coverage" or the "household members" section. Also my wife appears in the application process three times. To continue or not is the question.
Submitted by Tom on
As a navigator, I have feedback from a constituent who has both an I.D. number and a reference number, but in a conversation with "Experian" to learn of her status, she was told they could not find any of her information and would need to reapply on line. Tell me this is not the directions people whose information is "lost" are receiving.
Submitted by Janet on
I am still stuck in the verification process and have reached my limit for online attempts to verify. The system never issued me a reference number to give to Equifax, which they said they required when I called them. How do I get out of this endless loop?
Submitted by Theresa on
Same with me Janet. Perhaps by the end of this month they will have this fixed? Not holding my breath.
Submitted by Patricia on
I have been trying to enroll and everytime I get to the screen asking if I live with son, stepdaughter and etc, it locks me up and I have to reboot. This is so frustrating!!! I also applied by phone 3 weeks ago and when I called, they said my application is still being processed. How long does it take to process an application. This is the error message I received when markeplace locks up my screen: Webpage error details User Agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 5.1; Trident/4.0; InfoPath.3; McAfee; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.0.4506.2152; .NET CLR 3.5.30729) Timestamp: Tue, 5 Nov 2013 19:58:04 UTC Message: Object doesn't support this property or method Line: 220 Char: 2 Code: 0 URI: https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/auth/OH/en_US/js/ee/eeCommon.js Message: Object doesn't support this property or method Line: 220 Char: 2 Code: 0 URI: https://www.healthcare.gov/marketplace/auth/OH/en_US/js/ee/eeCommon.js
Submitted by Joe on
I have these two issues: 1. I have input my info several times online. Each time when it comes to the review page, it says the system can not perform verification now and asks me to save and come back later. When I sign in the next time, some previously entered info were not saved and I have to use EDIT to re-enter or respond to all the questions again. Why can't the system just save the entered info and let people pickup or continue from where they last left off? 2. I keep getting e-mails saying "You have a new message waiting for you in your Marketplace account." When I log into my account, I can't find any link where I can read the message. I talked to the Live Chat people. They said there should be a ballon at the top of the page. But I could not see any ballon on my account page.
Submitted by Bob on
"You have a new message waiting for you in your Marketplace account." I am having the same problem; the person in the live help chat could not help.
Submitted by Anonymous on
I can help. For #1, please use the 'EDIT' to re-enter the questions. For #2, please click the balloon at the top of the page.
Submitted by David on
I have not been able to 'save and continue' my spouse's information. I have been stuck in the same place since the beginning of the site. You all need to fix the link on the save & continue button.
Submitted by Eli on
I can't get past adding information for person 2. The save and continue button doesn't work. I have refilled this information out and tried doing it again close to forty times and it's still not working.
Submitted by G. Smith on
Can you confirm that the calculations on subsidies are correct. We are seeing variances between the Kaiser calculator and your calculations upon application. Thank you Mr. Smith CMS certified agent
Submitted by Betty on
Hi, and thanks. I have an eligibility notice of my subsidy signed and dated from HHS. I have an applicaition number (9 digits). Is my next step to work with the insurance agent in my town who is trained in Healthcare.gov? Neither he nor the 1-800 number could access my account last week and before. I am getting inconsistent info from the 1-800 number as to whether my insurance agent or myself is to do it (since I cannot get anything about choosing a plan on Healthcare.gov). Thanks again.
Submitted by gary on
I filled out my application on October 4th. The site is telling me to check my eligibility results.It doesnot respond. It shows me a ID number and says "in progress. Can I submit a paper application? I can view the policys available but they do not include the tax break incentives.
Submitted by John on
I have completed the application but can't find a link to learn the details about available plans. Very frustrating that I can't learn plan prices and coverage details.
Submitted by Alan on
Just adding my voice to - FIX the "ID verification pending" problem. I've been stuck there since 10/5. Phone help doesn't work, they can't reset anything or even check whether the uploaded ID is still anywhere in the system. All I want to do is to view the plans, the details and have accurate (unsubsidized) costs. In my case, the Healthcare.gov estimates are about $300 too low and there are no plan details (co-pays, out of pocket max, covered services...) My old private policy is still available, but next year's renewal rate went up 45%.
Submitted by Ahmed on
I have tried to let everyone with the same issue know this. This happen to me also. Today what I decided to do was create a new account, new email address, same infomation in the application. Verification worked perfectly and application finished without issue. Agent when I called said this was fine to do. So they should tell people to stop waiting and just create a new account with new email address. I think the early applications got stuck in a very weird state. Today brand new accounts and applications are working fine.

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