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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 Sally on
When will Healthcare.gov get a fix for the Medicaid black hole? I was able to receive an account on Healthcare.gov. I then received a message that erroneously stated that my application was being submitted to medicaid. I was a medicaid eligibility worker so I know, for a fact, that I am not eligible for medicaid. This could have been determined if the application had asked about resources since medicaid eligibility is determined by income and resources. I am also not eligible for SSD. I paid for it but not during the time period our great congress decided I needed to. What do I do now? I just want to know what plans I am eligible for and not sit in limbo because I was placed into the Medicaid eligibility bucket. The Live Chat person was unable to answer my question. How do I see what plans that I am eligible for before I lose my existing insurance policy on 12/31/2013? I do not want to keep Texas’ ripoff risk pool insurance.
Submitted by Petey on
If you are stuck in application "limbo" you CAN start over. If you are applying together with your spouse, try having your spouse create an account in his/her name instead of yours. Create a new username, new password, and new e-mail address. I have been stuck "in progress" for 6 weeks with an" identity verification" glitch, along with many of the other glitches experienced by those of us that applied early on. Absolutely NO ONE could help me!..I took the advice from a fellow blogger and started over as described above. I was doubtful that it would go through but to my surprise...It did!...I was actually able to fill out the application and follow the steps to get signed up for a plan in about an hour!......I am sharing this with fellow applicants because at this time, no one else is going to help us...so we have to help each other! Short of the marketplace allowing us to cancel out our non-functioning "old" applications and start over( which is not yet an option as far as I know) this is at least worth a try. Good luck everyone :)
Submitted by K on
I have suggestion let us delete application without creating a new account. I refuse to create a new account to actually be able to go through this process of getting health insurance. My situation I am stuck until the website is fixed that is what the call center told me. I cannot view my notices or eligibility results. I have tried everything "live chat"and the call center has told me and nothing works.
Submitted by Glynis on
There is no way to delete an application. If you refuse to create a new account then you will not be able to apply online because accounts got corrupted from the system errors and there is no way to fix them.
Submitted by Sally on
When will Healthcare.gov get a fix for the Medicaid black hole? I was able to receive an account on Healthcare.gov. I then received a message that erroneously stated that my application was being submitted to medicaid. I was a medicaid eligibility worker so I know, for a fact, that I am not eligible for medicaid. This could have been determined if the application had asked about resources since medicaid eligibility is determined by income and resources. I am also not eligible for SSD. I paid for it but not during the time period our great congress decided I needed to. What do I do now? I just want to know what plans I am eligible for and not sit in limbo because I was placed into the medicaid eligibility bucket. The Live Chat person was unable to answer my question. How do I see what plans that I am eligible for before I lose my existing insurance policy on 12/31/2013? I would not want to keep Texas' ripoff risk pool insurance even was extended.
Submitted by Jimmy Eaton on
Your problem is with Texas not healthcare.gov. It appears you qualify for Expanded Medicaid which has no resources limit. Since your are below 138% of the poverty level you do not qualify for tax subsidies on healthcare.gov. However, Texas has decided not to expand medicaid so you are indeed in a black hole. You can buy an off-exchange policy directly with an insurance company at full price.
Submitted by Glynis on
If you want to see plans and cost estimates a good place to go is valuepenguin.com. Did you try to log back in to see what it says in your account?
Submitted by Debbie on
Need to report "Life changes" (income change, need to add another person) can't choose an insurance plan until this is done. Webpage states this will be available on Nov. 15, 2013. I keep checking every day and it is still not active.
Submitted by Sally on
Thanks, for the suggestion, Debbie. I did report "Life changes" when I filled out the form. I will try it again & hold my breath that it works. It may have to do with not taking in consideration what state one lives in & what each individual state's regs are for medicaid.
Submitted by Glynis on
If buttons won't click or pages don't appear it may be due to something with the browser you are using or the way your computer is set up. if you use IE make sure you set it from automatic to check for newer version of pages each time you visit the web page (you do that at the same place you delete the temporary internet files except instead of the delete button you click on the settings button). If you don't know how to delete cookies or temporary files, click on the link on the login page that says "Having trouble logging in?" at the bottom left. Scroll down the page and it will give you more information about how to do these things. Sometimes just using a different browser or even a different computer works too. If you are just too frustrated by all the computer problems to try it that way again, then apply by phone or go to your nearest Walgreens or CVS pharmacy because they are helping people apply.

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