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Weekly Wrap-Up: the Latest Fixes to HealthCare.gov & Open Enrollment by the Numbers

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

As we continue to improve HealthCare.Gov, we wanted to provide you with a wrap up of the fixes we’ve made to the site over the last week and an update on open enrollment.

Yesterday, Jeff Zients provided an update on the status of our efforts to improve HealthCare.gov. As Jeff said, we’ve made measurable progress in the last few weeks, clearing over 200 items from our punch list. This week the site was very stable. Here are a few of the major fixes:

  • We've improved response time (how fast the system responds to user’s requests) from an average of 8 seconds at launch to under one second for most users.
  • By eliminating glitches and executing bug fixes in the software, we’ve driven the error rate on pages down to under 1%.
  • To improve the user experience, we added visual cues to plan compare screens to help consumers select the best plan.

For next week, we’re prioritizing a list of 50 additional fixes and improvements. As always, we will continue to provide updates on our fixes as we have them.

While we make improvements to HealthCare.gov, Americans all over the country are shopping for coverage and enrolling in the new Marketplace.

On Wednesday, we released our most detailed report to date on our first reporting period of Open Enrollment. Between October 1 and November 2, 106,185 individuals selected plans from the Marketplace and another 975,407 applied and received an eligibility determination, but are still shopping. An additional 396,261 were assessed or determined eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

That means, in total, 502,446 Americans are positioned to have health coverage starting in 2014. As more and more Americans enroll, we’re starting to hear their stories about what getting coverage means to them:

Paul Vlosich from Uniontown Pennsylvania initially had trouble with HealthCare.gov but was persistent and eventually selected a silver plan that has a lower cost, lower deductible, and lower co-pays than his previous coverage. With tax credits, he will be paying $60 per month. Paul’s mom recently passed away from cancer. Before she passed away, Paul promised her that he’d always take care of himself and have health insurance.

Lara Imler from Anchorage switched careers in 2004, trading in her accountant’s calculator for a new career as a hairdresser. While she loves her new job, she missed the insurance benefits of her old job because they helped her treat a thyroid disorder. On October 24th, Lara gave HealthCare.gov another chance and was able to enroll in a silver plan that cost $100/month—substantially lower than the $1,200 she’d been quoted before the Marketplace.

While we’re still not where we want to be with HealthCare.gov, the site is getting better and better. As Secretary Sebelius has said, we won’t stop until every American who wants it gains access to these new options for quality, affordable care. 


This post is no longer accepting comments. If you want to learn more about the Affordable Care Act, please visithhs.gov/healthcare. If you have question about or need assistance with health insurance enrollment, please visithttps://www.healthcare.gov/contact-us/.

Join the Conversation


Submitted by Ron on
For all the suckers that are struggling with this abomination, I fell sorry for you. Unless you voted for this in which case, enjoy.
Submitted by John on
As of 2/12/2014, I can not save my application. After signing a COMPLETED application, I am taken to the Edit Profile page. No save or continue button there. The button I pressed that took me there was the submit button. Change the submit button to a save and continue button which redirects you to a submit page or something. Your site is obstructing my ability to comply with the law!
Submitted by Bob on
Get some help on this terrible website, you cannot delete an account after it is created, what the hell is that about?
Submitted by Don on
I am a certified application counselor. On at least 3 occasions when I have been assisting consumers I have been told by your 800 operators that all of the data they entered into an application has been lost because of a "technical error". Every time we entered information we saved it then went on to the next page. The consumers were very frustrated that they had to start their application over. Why can't your system save information? Can you make a program change to correct that problem? Thanks Don
Submitted by Dylan on
after trying for 30 days i was finally able to create an account. that was 3 weeks ago. still can not verify my identity - the link takes me to a page that says 'we cant find that page'. I mailed in a copy of my drivers license, but so far nothing. I submitted an application over the phone for coverage, and got an email saying i should log in to see a message with the decision. when i log in there is nothing except a dialog box saying 'error unmarshalling request (error id unknown)'. the agent on the phone can't retrieve the message either. very frustrating.
Submitted by Rebecca on
I've been trying to establish an account and see my options at healthcare.gov since the beginning of October. After countless tries, and encountering one glitch after another, I still have do not even have my 'eligibility results'. My application is stuck in some kind of endless loop, and I have not received a call back from the Advanced Resolution Center (requested help in October, and again in November. Nothing.). Like others, my insurance is cancelled as of the end of the year, and I'm not sure what we're supposed to do at this point. Wow. I called Customer Service again today .... was told again that the Advanced Resolution Center will call me back in 3-5 days. oookay, lol. Did they mean 3-5 months perhaps? :(
Submitted by Alex on
"While we’re still not where we want to be with HealthCare.gov, the site is getting better and better. As Secretary Sebelius has said, we won’t stop until every American who wants it gains access to these new options for quality, affordable care." How about being able to do it by the end of the month. So far I have spent over two weeks trying to do something as simple as correcting, saving and continuing my application. Every couple of days I get a whole new mistake in my SS # and I can never ever get it to save correctly. I am being denied healthcare by the govt.
Submitted by Mel on
After numerous attempts to sign in and getting the same Error message, I have stopped trying to log in. I feel better after reading the comments below, obviously I'm not alone in my frustration. The site is poorly created, the solutions offered by Live Chat and telephone support are not usable. This is a travesty, debacle and other sophisticated adjectives that the developers don't have in their vocabulary. Garbage In, Garbage Out.
Submitted by Susan on
I applied on 10/12. Since that time, I have not been able to get an answer on what my options for ACA are. I call every other day, have been told over the phone for the past 7 days that my application has been completed but when I go on line it still says in progress. Called again today 11/20, told again it was completed but the rep could not get any further to tell me what my options are. Tick tock, Dec 15 is less than a month away. I have no insurance as I cannot afford my COBRA of $600 per month, have an app in for SSD which can take up to six months and have many serious health problems, cancer and diabetes included. Do not understand how the 'fixes" are not working. I just need to know what I qualify for. I have no income. Frustrated in Ocean City, NJ.
Submitted by Paula on
After weeks of problems with ID verification, I abandoned the first application and began another with new user name, password and email address. This worked great until I got to the review page and needed to make an edit. the edit button wouldn't work. After "live chat"--turn off pop-up blocker--didn't work, I called and was transferred to the advanced resolution center, and they could not edit either. Anyone have a suggestion short of starting from scratch again? Thanks! I've found this blog helpful.
Submitted by Pat on
Uploaded drivers license three weeks go, log in page shows status as in progress, my profile page says identity verification pending. What is the current wait time for identity verification, clock is ticking as my insurance will be cancelled January 1st.
Submitted by ed on
just amazing, when I try to look at the next page of this healthcare update, it shows i'm on the next page but the same first page comes up again and again
Submitted by Eileen on
Very frustrating...spent the last 2 months trying to get my application submitted. Had to remove & resubmit application 3 times. Encountered numerous problems ranging from verifying identity, to application information not being saved & being told application was incomplete. Then unable to log into my account & having to create a new one. Called customer service reps several times & were told each time that they were technical problems & a tech rep would get back to me in 48 to 72 hours. Still waiting for all those phone calls. Last week, my application was finally approved & I received my letter of eligibility. But once again I'm stuck in another hurdle..the error box keeps on appearing every time I try to view the health plans & complete my enrollment.
Submitted by Charlie on
I've tried with healthcare.gov's telephone support, to get my ID and 2 bogus applications deleted from the system. They escalated to their level2 support 3-4 times, each time telling me that someone would call me back within 2 business days. Only 1 time have they called, and they said they had no way to delete the items I mentioned. Are you kidding me??!! How can they not have a way to delete a bad ID or application??
Submitted by Glynis on
Nothing will happen if you don't delete an account that has an application that you started. The only way to fix errors in an application is to create a new account with a new username, new password, and new email address and start a new application. Delete cookies and temporary internet files first. This does work and people have been successful. It is a hassle but unfortunately right now it's the only way.
Submitted by Denise on
Hopefully your advice helps most people. It doesn't help me, and I have several friends in the same boat as I am. HHS needs to understand this problem so they can fix it. I worked in a major software company for years, and there are bugs that need to be prioritized when there is no workaround, and just because your workaround has helped some, it hasn't helped all of us. Here is my situation:I needed to change the amount of income I reported on my original application. I had submitted the application but hadn't enrolled in a plan yet. Because the "report a life change" button is not functional yet, I tried to create 2 brand-new accounts, under different emails, usernames, etc. I did this on my own once, and with the assistance of phone support the second. Partway through the application process, an error page appeared with the words "error unmarshalling request." Clearing cookies, the cache, using a different browser did not solve the problem. The person on phone support was very sympathetic (and saw the exact same problem on her end, when she attempted to enroll for me on her computer) but said my only recourse was to send in an appeal, by mail, to HHS. I am a HUGE supporter of the ACA and the president--it's why I voted for him--but people like me have to have another way to get past this before the deadline. I read that they are thinking of giving insurers the power to enroll people and set subsidies. This cannot happen soon enough.
Submitted by Gary on
This is fine and good but there is still a problem with applications being stuck in a loop. In my case, I've been verified and each time that I log on, I'm correctly informed that I have an application in progress. I'm forced to go through the application again and when I electronically sign the application, I'm returned to the same starting screen informing me that I have an application in progress. This issue has only affected me for the last 5 weeks.
Submitted by Glynis on
Are you referring to the "what do you want to do?" page? Did you click on "Individual and Family Coverage" under the "View my Current Applications" heading that's next to the status that says "In progress?"
Submitted by Lisa on
Still no luck after two days. Talked to live chat and called rep. Same thing over and over and over. What happens when time runs out and still not able to sign up in time to get insurance to start Jan 1.
Submitted by Tom on
I have been basically stuck for two weeks now and unable to proceed. I continue to receive a message that I need to resolve issues with my reported income, even though I uploaded the required information. After ignoring that problem, I clicked on the green button, that DID NOT have the usual finger pointer indicator. Then I was able to proceed and check out policies for my wife and I as dual applicants. A few days later, when I went in to make a decision, low and behold, the wrong prices and subsidies appear! It appears that the web site is somehow only applying prices for single insurance rather than two people, and the subsidy is some number not appropriate. This is so frustrating! I have called the 800 number twice with no ability to help me. I cannot even get anyone to just cancel my application so I can start from scratch. This is just a mess!!!!!!!
Submitted by Glynis on
You don't have to cancel your application to start over. Just create a new account with a new username, new password, and new email address. Delete your cookies and temporary internet files first. Nothing will happen if you ignore that first account and application once you create a new one.
Submitted by brian on
how many different emails do you think people have? why should people have to use different email addresses? you should be able to cancel an application or start over without needing to use a different email every time. that is just crazy - never saw a system like that.
Submitted by Enrico Espina on
I applied for coverage in the federal site on Oct. 28, 2013. My ID#147212216. I have not heard on the status of my application. Then I filed an application with abe.illinois.gov on Nov. 6, 2013. The tracking number for this application with Illinois is T00071353. I have not heard from Illinois on the status or decision on my application. I have talked for the federal worker over the phone. She said she will look into this and send me an e-mail. However, no e-mail received as of this writing. I have not been successful in contacting Illinois. Please help. Let me know the decision on my application so I can go on with my life!!
Submitted by don on
applied for health insurance on December 26th 2013 and have not seen anything yet checked abe Illinois web site all I see is a tracking no of T00194537 said we should hear on febuary 2014 not sure what we should try call to get information but wait on phone over 1hr
Submitted by Glynis on
Did you try to login to the healthcare.gov site again to see if you have any messages?