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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 a hutcherson on
I have been locked in the tobacco question of the app for 3 weeks. It will not advance to the next question. When will it?
Submitted by Glynis on
If you're locked up and can't advance you need to create a new account with a new user name, new password, and new email address. Delete your cookies and temporary internet files first.
Submitted by Ann on
I am unable to complete application - I keep getting stuck on the last question of the additional information section. I've cleared cache and tried every day for the last week. In addition, I'm now getting emails to complete app, yet the system does not let me proceed.
Submitted by tammy on
paying cobra notsurehow to find help insurance for my self and husband i have to drop it my husband makes 2000.00 month health care for me 600.00 month i cantafford it i have ms doctor has disabled me ss denided me
Submitted by Glynis on
I've discovered today that people are stuck in loops because it's not clear what they should do. On the page that asks "what would you like to do?, next to the "View my current applications" heading it says "in progress". Click on "Individual and Family Coverage" underneath the heading. It's a link that will take you to an "Enroll To-Do List" page. On that page you click on the green "Set" button where it says "Select a health insurance plan". Then you'll go to a page to compare and select plans. Those buttons that say "locked" will unlock when you complete the preceding step. After you select a plan you'll click on a green "Confirm" button. You have to complete each step on the "Enroll To-Do List" page. On that page there is a triangle symbol with an exclamation point that says review your application details to resolve outstanding issues. DO NOT click on Application Details, it just takes you back to the "what do you want to do?" page. It's just informational, just proceed through the steps on the "Enroll To-Do List".
Submitted by Denise on
On October 11th I was able to get through the Healthcare Website to sign up for a plan. The problem is the system came back and said I was eligible for Medcaid which is an error. I filed an appeal on October 23rd of which I have heard nothing. My current insurance will go up in price on January 1 and I will no long be able to afford it. I have call customer service several times and no one there has ever been able to help me. Because of Obamacare I am going to loose my health insurance and no one seens to be able to help me.
Submitted by Glynis on
Did you try clicking on Eligibility and Appeals to see if there is anything there?
Submitted by ted on
Here's my story -- on chat and the agent basically hung up on me. [9:51:38 pm]: Thanks for contacting Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Please wait while we connect you to someone who can help. [9:51:41 pm]: Please be patient while we're helping other people. [9:51:46 pm]: Welcome! You're now connected to Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat. Thanks for contacting us. My name is Danielle. To protect your privacy, please don't provide any personal information, like Social Security Number, or any other sensitive medical or personal information. [9:51:55 pm]: Danielle How can I help you with any questions you have today? [9:53:02 pm]: ted I was able to create an account, log in, and finish most of the application process a month ago. Since then, every time I try to log in, I simply get the log in screen, with no messages. (If I use the wrong password, I get an error). I have tried literally hundreds of times, all with the same results. [9:53:59 pm]: Danielle I apologize for any technical difficulties you may be experiencing as you use HealthCare.gov. We know this can be frustrating, and we're working around the clock to improve HealthCare.gov and to make sure your experience with it is a positive one. I will make a note of your feedback. In the meantime, you can still complete an application right now by selecting the following link to download a paper application: http://marketplace.cms.gov/getofficialresources/publications-and-articles/publications-and-articles.html. Choose the application that best fits your needs under "Marketplace Consumer Application." You may also call the Marketplace at 1-800-318-2596 for help with completing an application or to request a paper application by mail. [9:54:57 pm]: ted Ok, so is this a common problem? I see where all sorts of bugs are fixed. Faster response times, etc. But, not even getting a chance to see a response time? [9:55:24 pm]: Danielle There is no time limit. [9:55:29 pm]: Danielle I apologize for the inconvenience. [9:56:05 pm]: ted Is this a common error? Am I seeing what others are, also, or just me? [9:56:44 pm]: Danielle Not just you. [9:57:11 pm]: ted Does it make sense to keep trying, or just give up on the online app? [9:58:00 pm]: Danielle You can apply for coverage through the Marketplace at HealthCare.gov, by mail, or in person. I can also work with you to complete the application and help you compare and choose a plan over the phone. [9:58:06 pm]: ted I mean, once someone sees this error, do they ever log in? [9:58:46 pm]: Your chat session is over. Thanks for contacting us, and we hope we've answered your questions. Have a great day. [9:58:46 pm]: 11/17/2013
Submitted by Glynis on
Did you click the link in the bottom left that says "Having trouble logging in? and try those steps? Did you try the "forgot your username" or "forgot your password" links to see if you get a system email? Did you try a different browser or a different computer? Try all of those first and if you still can't login or you don't even get a system email then your account got corrupted and you need to create a new one with a new username, new password, and new email address. Also, delete your cookies and temporary internet files before you create a new account.
Submitted by Carla on
I have been trying to enroll for the last two weeks. Every time I get my personal information and my families information entered - the last save button after the question about my oldest son being in college does not work. I have tried several different times and everytime after I get to that point the button to save is inactive. Could you please add that to your list - it is very frustrating because I have to re-enter the information every time I try.

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