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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. 

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Comments

Submitted by Andy on
The most frustrating aspect of healthcare.gov is that even though I have completed the entire application all the way up to the final submit page (which failed each time), you make me go back to the beginning each time and re-do the ENTIRE application again! Come on guys, if i filled it out already don't you keep that information in a database? Why should i have to fill it out again when the status says "in progress".
Submitted by James Wimberley on
There is no hrealthgov.com database. It's just a glorified post office. As I understand it, an application is a file that is posted from one government database to another as each item is checked and added to the file. So if that file gets stuck, the system does not care if you start a new one. If by some miracle both applications make it to the final stage, the insurer will detect the duplication, and anyway you won't make more than one payment. Don't select two different plans though.
Submitted by Glynis on
If the information isn't being saved your account is corrupted and you need to start over by creating a new account with a new username, new password, and new email address. Delete your cookies and temporary internet files first.
Submitted by Sue on
Still could not login, no improvements, live chat did not work.
Submitted by Lisa on
There are still glitches and errors. I filled out an application when it got to summary there were errors. I repaired the errors and again errors on summary page. After do that a few times I could no long go back and edit. Live feed said log out sign in. Errors were fixed. I had already put info about income in but some how it disappeared so I start again. System is down try again in 30 minutes if it continues call for help. Every time I sign it I have to start over even though most of the questions have answers I already gave only to end up system down again. Called in today. She did the same exact thing. Caught in a loop. She said keep trying that is the best bet and call later in the week. Offered a paper app. but it doesn't tell you the price of plans. Very frustrating. Hope it is fixed in time to sign up by Dec 15.
Submitted by aron scott on
call in to see what the status of your application is
Submitted by Glynis on
If there are errors in your application and the information is not being saved then your account has gotten corrupted and you need to create a new account with a new username, new password, and new email address. Delete your cookies and temporary internet files first. If you want to see plans and compare you can go to valuepenguin.com. That will help you narrow down to the ones you're interested in.
Submitted by Rob on
Still can't actually afford the plan I need! I used to be eligible for a no deductible/copay capped policy thru my work as a part time employee. Now no longer, thanks to the new laws. That situation is impossible to communicate thru the application questioning proccess. I'm supposed to email or mail a letter from my employer, which I have, but there is no contact information to send it. I can't afford deductibles or high co-pays, but can budget for monthly payments. I have a pre existing conditions and need affordable access to specialists. Now my only option is a platinum plan... After two site crashes upon completion of my app the third time was a charm. Only a couple more technical problems now. They say I have notices and alerts but there is nowhere to view notices or alerts. I'm supposed to email or mail a letter from my employer which I have, but there is no contact information to send it to.
Submitted by Glynis on
Try clicking on "My Profile" on the "what would you like to do?" page to see if the notices are there. Also try clicking on the words "Individual and Family Coverage" under the "View my current applications" heading on that page and then click on "Eligibility and appeals" to see if there's a notice there.
Submitted by Ricardo on
I applied by phone on 10/30 --- did not get processed. I applied by phone again on 11/8 --- told would see my application and plans by 11/11 I follow up again on 11/12 --- told still working on app and should see my information by 11/15 I log on to my account on 11/15 and see still nothing I log on today 11/18 and still no information. Recognize issues been worked out, but frustrated with no reasonable estimation of when I will still my information and complete my application.
Submitted by Steve on
I tried to apply by web but that didn't work (web application still lists me three times!). I applied by phone first on 12 Oct and they said submitted and wait 2 weeks, it did not get processed. On 21 Oct they corrected many spelling errors in my name, my income and my wife, a green card holder, was called a citizen, it was submitted, they said it should be quick. Called on 24 Oct and they found some of the same spelling errors, re-corrected, filled in the now empty questions again and said it really was submitted now! When I called about the status on 11 Nov got the same explanation, they found another spelling error and resubmitted again and said it should be soon. Called on 17 Nov no change this time (improvement?). It is now 20 Nov no word. After trying for 6 weeks I don't expect they will answer until after January at the earliest and I'm certain it will be incorrect. Just too many problems.....
Submitted by Carol on
My application shows that it is in progress. Although I can login into the site; the system won't allow me to access my current application. Clicking on the application button doesn't work. I hope this can be fixed soon.
Submitted by Glynis on
Are you on the "what would you like to do?" page and clicking on the words "Individual and Family Coverage" underneath the "View my current applications" heading next to the status that says "In progress"?
Submitted by Scott on
I completed the application weeks ago...have even filled it out again twice since then because it said I hadn't "completed application". Received emails stating that I have messages waiting in message center, which does not exist. I simply want to click on the tab that says "eligibility and appeals" but that tab/link does not work. If I log on from my phone or other computer, the tab does work, but when I reach the next screen, the green tab that says "view eligibility results" doesn't work. This whole website is garbage, and it baffles me how I can reach different points of the website by using other devices. Help
Submitted by A C on
Please update the printable application to allow people to download and enter information on the form directly. There are other federal forms that allow that function. Since the forms will probably never go away, this is a necessary convenience/ease of operation feature that will win you quick points with the community. It will also make it easier on your team processing applications almost to the point of automation because of typed data vs. handwritten information. Easy solution with maximum results...especially while the "kinks" are still being worked out.
Submitted by David on
I was not able to setup an account online (server errors), so I applied over the phone (which worked well) and received and Application ID. However, I can not setup an account online to choose insurance, as I get a server error, stating that my email address is used for another account. I could use another email address that I have, but how would I be able to link my account with my Application? I am getting notices from Healthcare.gov, but you have to have an account to sign in to see them.
Submitted by Glynis on
I read another comment saying that they can link an application ID to an online account. Try creating a new account with a new email address and then call phone support. The phone support should also be able to complete your application over the phone. I know of other people who did it this way. They first went to valuepenguin.com to review plans and narrow down their choices. Then they called the phone rep and they completed the application and enrolled them in a plan. The phone reps can answer questions about specific plans too.
Submitted by Paula on
I don't even know where to start. Called in app in October received nothing via mail. Called my old insurance they don't know whether they will continue or not. Call .gov again. It's in the mail. Really where do I send any medical bills I have after Jan 1st that will be unpaid?
Submitted by Sharon on
Completed application on oct 13 and status is still in process. Cannot get any info on subsides. Told to complete a paper application but was told that would make process even worse. Don't know what to do this is a mess. They want you to enroll but it is impossible. This is truly a train wreck and the president doesn't care because he has his healthcare. If help is on the way I don't see it.
Submitted by Mike on
I still can NOT login to my account that I established weeks ago! Please fix! Happy trails, Mike
Submitted by Denise on
When will "Report a Life Change" actually function? It's terrible to have a grayed-out button that does not work in ANY browser. I need to delete erroneous information and cannot. The people on the 800 line (including the "elevated" team) can't either, and they said they have no answer as to when we can edit or delete an application. Glynis, you have written over and over again that people can start over with a new application. You cannot do this if your application has already been submitted, because it is stored under your social security number, and even with a new password, username, and email (trust me, I've tried, and so did the "elevated" customer service people), you get kicked out if you try to make changes. The "report a life change" button should allow you to do this, but it is NONFUNCTIONAL and says it WILL be functional 11/15/2013. That was 3 days ago
Submitted by Glynis on
Do you mean you cannot create a new account if you've already selected a plan and clicked the button to confirm it? I know of many people who have started over with a new account who were stuck in various places and couldn't move on that were successful in completing the application all the way through to selecting a plan and enrolling.
Submitted by Melissa on
What about families who have filled out the application and the eligibility results stated that we would qualify for MO Healthnet, but MO denied that coverage due to excessive income. I cannot see any eligible plans when I log into my account. I filed an appeal four weeks ago and still have not heard anything. I've made weekly phone calls to hopefully get some help, but no one seems to know what to do. I can't even get someone to confirm that they received my appeal letter.
Submitted by Betsy on
You still have not fixed the "stuck" applications. I go in almost daily and my application (which I had almost completed back in early October) starts me at the beginning but will not "save & continue." I am running out of time to get this application in and shop for insurance. Please work harder or give those of us that started an application in October some solid and good advice as to how to proceed. It would be nice if "official" people would respond to these postings.
Submitted by Glynis on
Stuck applications can't be fixed. If you can't save information something got corrupted in your account when there were system problems in October. The best thing is to start over by creating a new account, with a new username, new password, and new email address. Delete cookies and temporary internet files first. This is working for many people who are stuck at different points. Unfortunately, no official customer support people are monitoring the blog. People are helping one another based on what's working for others.

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