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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 Alexis on
How about fixing the immigration status review of an application. I submitted copies of my A-Card almost 30 days ago via PDF file and mail. No communication at all, the "select a plan option remains locked". Therefore, I am not been able to select a plan. How long must I wait. Thank You
Submitted by pat on
why cant I log in to my account,for the last 5 days?
Submitted by Ken on
How about fixing the damn email server that sends out the verification notices so I can finish getting my account created and beginning the freakin' process of applying for this scam?
Submitted by Tom on
Where can I view the responses to the concerns posted here?
Submitted by Daniel on
How do I submit bug reports?
Submitted by George K on
What improvements are you talking about? I have not been able to log-in yet. Please do not make references to improvements..... just be transparent and say: ....the site is still in works to become rudimentarily operational. I have never wasted so much time like at your site. You should be ashamed of yourselves not being honest with the public that your site is not functioning at all
Submitted by Jean on
Just put all those people like those who have posted on the Nov 1 update who have been stuck at the identity verification stage for 3 weeks out of their misery. Purge their data and tell them to start over. The interface with Experian started working like 3 or 4 weeks into this and is good now. But if they sent a JPEG of their drivers license in to get around earlier messages from the Experian section, back when it wasn't working, like "tries maxed out ", they will be waiting forever. Who is going to look at thousands of drivers licenses? Nobody. There accounts are just stranded in a hopeless zombie state.
Submitted by Don on
We need to hear when the work to fix the 834 notices data corruption is finished. It has only just begun and its 11/4 ? What had people been waiting for? Anyone who finalizes their enrollment before the 834's are working is just asking for trouble because of the possibility that incorrect information is sent to the insurance company. The fact that the front end is loading web pages faster and better every week doesn't matter if net-net you end up sending junk data to the insurance company that you think you are enrolling with.
Submitted by Roger on
I am stuck on the Enroll To-Do List page for a week now. It wants me to Select a health insurance plan 1 (Roger), Select a health insurance plan 2 (Wife & Roger) and Select a health insurance plan 3 (Wife & Roger). I completed the application for insurance for my wife and I together (1 plan). Why does it want me to select 3 plans, 1 for just me and 2 for my wife & I. It will only let me select 1 plan, that leave 2 plan selections open some I can not continue throught the next 2 steps, they are locked.
Submitted by steve on
Yeah, it won't let me progress past "Select a health insurance plan 1". I've already gone through this once, a couple of weeks ago, and my selection was still selected. I selected it again, but the next two items are still locked... EVEN THOUGH, I completed them the LAST time I was here. The only reason I'm back is because I got an "EligibilityNotice.pdf" that said "Eligible for a tax credit ($xxx.xx each month, which is $xxx.xx for the year), but more information is needed", for my kids. WHAT information? I couldn't tell nor could I solve it on HC.gov.
Submitted by Tran on
I am on very last step (Review and Confirm) in Enrollment since 10/11/2013, but the system did not let me to complete when I clicked "Confirm" button. And now, I cannot log in my account. I tried this since last week but no luck! My question is : Do I have to start all over again ? (set up new account, then application, enroll...) or Do I have to wait until the end of November to try to log in again? I think quite a few people were in the same my situation. Please tell me what I must do to get health coverage. Thank you
Submitted by Nick on
I wouldn't care if I would need to wait for 14.43 seconds on average after every click, if it would complete application/enrollment. The problem is that I needs to go through this over and over again, only to find out after 15 minutes of clicking and waiting that the verification system still is not available or that the first payment to the insurance company still generates an error. Please get the application/enrollment working first if you cannot fix the response times!
Submitted by Amy on
Still cant set up account. Getting error message reguarding security question answers being alike but they are not. Very annoying.
Submitted by J on
How about fixing it so we can log on to established accounts created before Oct 1 before these other fixes. Prioritized? First things first then!!
Submitted by Pablo on
But still can't get verified? Is that that being corrected??
Submitted by Nick on
So what is the advice for enrollments in limbo (status initial enrollment, but the insurer has received nothing)? Cancel the existing enrollment, enroll again, and hope that the insurance company will receive the enrollment information this time? Some guidance for people in this situation would be useful. Also: advice for customers stuck in the 'our verification system is temporarily unavailable. We expect to resolve the problem within 24 hours' loop.
Submitted by Chuck on
I'm stuck exactly the same way: "Status: Initial Enrollment" --- call the insurer, they haven't received any information about me, they say to call the healthcare.gov call center. Call the healthcare.gov call center... they say things look good in their systems (I'm enrolled) and to call the insurer.
Submitted by christie on
Um - no it isn't working better than it did last week. I have yet to be able to create an account.
Submitted by Mike on
I have applied 3 times and all applications have been lost. Now I can no longer login my account. Have not been able to for 2 weeks!!!!!!!!!!! INEED INSURANCE
Submitted by Greg on
I need insurance too but the morons only give speeches saying it is getting better when it is no better.