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HealthCare.gov: 3.7 million visitors this week

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Today, we are providing weekly metrics on the stability and performance of HealthCare.gov.

As of noon today, more than 3.7 million consumers have visited HealthCare.gov this week (from midnight Sunday until noon Friday) to learn about their health insurance options, create an account, learn about financial help, compare options and select a plan.

This week, the site remained stable and experienced no unscheduled downtimes.   The average error rate was 0.77% and response time averaged well under 1 second, two of our key metrics in determining site performance.

The queuing system was deployed twice this week, once on Monday morning when our operations team monitoring traffic patterns saw response times slow and error messages rise for users in the process and once on Tuesday, proactively, in advance of the President’s remarks on health care.

During these two periods more than 16,000 consumers were put into the new queuing system to request an email notification on when to come back to the site. All were invited to come back in on the same day. Over 93% of those people who did receive the email to come back in did return and had high levels of engagement across the site, browsing 30% more pages and spending 15% longer on the site.

We have made progress. But as we have said, this is an iterative process.  We will continue to perform scheduled maintenance to the site.  During these maintenance windows the Marketplace will be offline and there will be periods when the federal data services hub will also be unavailable. These schedule maintenance windows are done during off-peak hours and designed to increase the consumer experience and functionality of the website. This weekend, CMS is scheduled to perform maintenance in the usual 1-5 AM windows.

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Comments

Submitted by Glynis on
You should ask for an ARC (Advanced Resolutions Center) Supervisor when you call.
Submitted by ched on
Glynis, I have spoken to a few supervisors, and while they are better informed and more capable than the average operator, they have run into the same roadblocks that the others have and, in the end, can't get any further than the front-line people. At least they aren't parroting the script.
Submitted by David on
I've had exactly the same experience. I've attempted to complete the application around 40 times (I've try a couple time a week since early October) and spent man hours on the phone to no avail. The website is in MUCH worse shape than they are saying.
Submitted by Glynis on
Did you start over with a new application or a new account with a new username, new password, and different email address? Applications and accounts from Oct have gotten corrupted and you'll never be able to complete it so you must remove that application, restart your browser and start over. To be on the safe side you could start with an entirely new account along with a new application
Submitted by Glynis on
Advice for people still having problems even after starting over with a new application or a new account is to call the 800 number and immediately ask to speak to an ARC (Advanced Resolution Center) Supervisor.
Submitted by Susan on
It's been one hurdle after another. (1) I called and asked for the ARC Supervisor. The phone reps tell me there is NO ARC Supervisor. They connect me to their Supervisor and she repeated the same. When I ask to be connected to the Advanced Resolution Center, they say they cannot connect me, but they can put in a request to have ARC call me in 5-7 business days. I have asked them to do this 3 times, starting in early November. No one has called me from ARC. My ARC requests are disappearing, the reps cannot find the Nov request, then they had one from 12-9-13, but now they only have the last one on file 12-11-13. (2) Since I could not access my Marketplace account, but the phone reps could, they had to read my eligible plans to me. I called several times to get more detail. Narrowed it down to one plan. Called the company and they gave me even more detail and emailed the plan summary to me. I called to enroll and one of the supervisors said she could enroll me over the phone. When she tried to bring up the plan, it did not come up on her screen. She said it did not exist. (3) I gave up on my original application, even though no one can "remove" it and started from scratch, new everything, cleared everything as per your instructions. Started a new application. I kept getting error 500.000888. What does it mean? (4) From reading the advice on this blog, it seems that if you have a series of errors, you should start over again. (5) Removed and started over several more times with new everything each time. I finally got to the last page (no errors) and it said verification system unavailable, try in 24 hours. (6) On application, even though I keep putting in my middle name as on my SS card, it does not show it where I have to review for correctness. Any advice would be most welcome. I am very frustrated and stressed.
Submitted by Glynis on
Use the 'see plans before I apply' button on the healthcare.gov website to see the plans available to you. It does include details like the plan summary. Insurers can continue to sell plans outside of the Marketplace so the insurer may have sent you information on one that is not available in the Marketplace. The names can be very similar so you have to be sure the insurer and you are talking about the exact same plan.
Submitted by KGHN on
Today the website has a new glitch - the review shows no one as expecting to file a 1040 in 2014, even if the user has answered yes to the question. Also, as a person filing for a muti-tax household (4 people, 3 1040 forms) I keep being told that a separate application has to be made for each 1040 form, but listing all 4 people and showing everyone else as not needing insurance. I believe that the current system does not let me do that - it only lets me add people in the "who needs insurance?" section, not in the Family and Household section. Other healthcare.gov phone support people, and two navigators, have told me it should all be done on one application. I have been working on this since Oct.1st - have put 100's of hours on the project and 10s of hours with support people. Still no insurance.
Submitted by Bruce on
I have applied six different times. At the end of each form I select the button to sign. It then goes into verification and then I get a red error. I go back into the system and it now tells me my form is incomplete and I need to start over. I have called the online help and no one can help me. Not sure what to do at this time?
Submitted by Glynis on
You have to be very careful with the format of your answers and follow the examples they give exactly as they look. Also, don't add any decimals to any place they don't, like to hours worked, round up or down. And your name should be exactly as it appears on your Social Security card. If you're still having trouble then go to a navigator or broker for in person help. You can find one at localhelp.healthcare.gov.
Submitted by Elaine on
Glynis, you say "your name should be exactly as it appears on your Social Security card." I have tried to correct the question when asked - is your name the same as on the Social Security - and can not. My SS includes my middle intitial, but the application does not. I was told by the 800 help number it did not matter because middle intial was optional.
Submitted by Glynis on
Others have had difficulty when not including middle initial even though it says optional. If it works for you without then I wouldn't worry about it. I would suggest that you should be consistent through out the application as to how you list it though.
Submitted by Susan on
PLEASE HELP!! Months ago I tried many times to fill out the online application, but technical issues prevented it. I called the Helpline, 1-800-318-2596, for assistance. In med Nov The phone rep filled out my application, gave me my Application ID# and told me I was eligible for both the tax credit and cost-sharing reductions and she told me the amount my tax credit. I was told to wait a few hours, then log in to view & print my application and eligibility results. I was never able to get all the way in. Over the next month phone reps and their supervisors assisted me in creating 4 accounts, each with new emails, new user names, new passwords. Each account was supposed to be linked to my Application ID# and solve the problem. Nothing worked. They said my computer Windows XP and browser IE8 were compatible with their software. They transferred me to the Internal Support Group - NO solution. I cannot get past "find your application", therefore I cannot use the new "remove" button and start over. The phone reps cannot get there either. I'm still waiting to hear from the Advanced Resolution Center. I have never received anything in writing. My eligibility letter was supposed to be emailed to me. I checked all my email accounts - nothing there. I can never access my account online, occasionally a phone rep can when the system isn't down. The only information about plans I received was by phone rep reading the highlights to me. Many phone reps advised me to wait until its fixed. Finally on 12-9-13, a phone rep was able to give me the names of the Silver plans I could choose from and my deductible, OOP max, and 4 other items. From this tiny bit of information, I was able to call the companies and get more detail. I picked a plan and I'm ready to enroll. The deductible I was told by the phone rep is $2000 more than the company says it is. I have to use the Marketplace to enroll because of my subsidies, the reps do not know how to fix the discrepancy in deductible amount. I cannot enroll. I'm stuck and now I'll miss the deadline and have no insurance in 2014. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.
Submitted by Susan on
Just an update. I was advised to start over from the beginning. Now I am unable to obtain a new email address, because gmail requires I update my IE8 browser. However, healthcare.gov recommends that Windows XP use IE8. Will IE9 or IE10 work with Windows XP?
Submitted by Glynis on
make sure that the name of the plan the insurer is telling you is the exact same name of the plan the Marketplace rep is telling you. If they are then if I were you I'd enroll in the plan even if the Marketplace has a discrepancy in the deductible amount to make sure you have insurance. The insurer determines the deductible not the Marketplace. Is it possible that the insurer is including the cost sharing in what is quoted but the phone rep isn't? When you call ask to speak to an ARC (Advanced Resolution Center) Supervisor. You can also look at plans by clicking on the "see plans before I apply' button on the healthcare.gov home page. You won't see the tax credit or cost sharing amounts included but since you know them you can account for them yourself.
Submitted by Susan on
Thank you so much for your suggestions. I did check with the insurance company and the plan name is different. The insurance rep emailed their plan summary to me with the correct numbers. I still don't know if it will "link" correctly to the corresponding Marketplace plan. In order to start over, I need a new email address and gmail says they no longer support IE8. My computer is Windows XP SP3. Will I be able to complete an application and create a Marketplace account if I upgrade my browser to IE9 or IE10?
Submitted by Glynis on
get a yahoo email account instead. Windows XP SP3 doesn't support IE9 or IE10.
Submitted by Rich on
We started yesterday @11 am. Can you believe we have made it all the way to the end and every time (every 30 minutes come back and try again, the message says) we hit "confirm", this same error message appears. Don't waste time calling, they have the same problem (even though, while you are waiting and waiting for your info. to load in their computers-like the last time mine was that slow was when I had dial-up), they love to tell you how much better it is and how, no matter what, they can complete the process for you. After 3 tries and 30 mins., we were told to call back later, or come back on the website at maybe 2 or 3 am, when no one is on, like that will magically fix the problem. Online chat, same problem. same excuses! God, help us!
Submitted by Will on
Still the same problem I have had since October - when are you going to stop the BS and actually fix this thing!!!!
Submitted by Glynis on
Anybody who has an application and account from October should start over with an entirely new account with a new username, new password, and different email address.
Submitted by Antonio on
.77% * 3.6 million "consumers" (how do you know that?) = about 30,000 errors if everybody visited just one page That would mean that if everybody visited 10 pages (most applicants will visit many more than that), you are really near a much higher failure rate (~7.7%) than the .77% reported rate. Of course, acceptable industry error rates for this metric are 1000 to 10000 times lower. The price of a working website should be about 100 times lower. The federal government can't develop a website. How is it they think they can manage healthcare?
Submitted by Edward on
Was this "average error rate was 0,.77%" *per page* (like the 0.75% reported a week ago) or does this mean that 99.2% of applications made it all the way through to enrolled at an insurer without any errors or application data errors? Last we were told that 10% of applications are damaged by the time they reach the insurer. What is the status of this?
Submitted by James Wimberley on
An error rate of 0.75% per page means that in a 10-page process (picking the number for the sake of argument) the average error rate rises to 7.5% per full application attempt. Actually 7.25%, because it's a chain, if the errors are fatal. These are errors in the interface with the users, not the separate interface with the insurers, which is not based on web pages and has is own problems - see Julie's next post. The one quality indicator that would be really useful is as you say the chance of an application making it through to signup or Medicaid determination without error of any sort. HHS may have this, but won't release it. They do have a severe data problem in that a very large number of eligible applicants have not chosen a policy. The only way to get the indicator would be to audit a sample of new applications and reconstruct their complete history including false starts, reloads and abandons. Then exclude all those with an eligibility determination but still dithering.
Submitted by Jim on
All comments in here are reviewed for content before submission.. Imagine that, how about releasing the " real story " of how people feel and their experiences.
Submitted by Jim on
Its the Government folks. Don't trust and verify! I completed the enrollment several weeks ago only to find even though the website said I was enrolled... I wasn't. There was another glitch. If you have completed the enrollment your insurance company should receive notice from the website in 48 hours. Call them and ask if you don't hear back. You don't have insurance until payment is received! The back end of this thing is just as messed up as the rest. Don't be afraid to ask for a supervisor if you don't like what you're hearing when you call the help line. Most of the front line folks are poorly trained and don't always know what the hell they're talking about!

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