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Improved Window Shopping on HealthCare.gov to Help Consumers Enroll

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Monday, December 2, 2013

We’ve been making improvements to HealthCare.gov over the past several weeks to help consumers enroll in affordable health coverage, and today, we’ve launched an improved window shopping feature for consumers.

Consumers can now see more detailed information about each Marketplace plan offered in their area before applying. This new tool will display plan prices much more accurately, based on the household information entered. Consumers can compare plans, covered benefits, physician and hospital networks, and more. No login or application is required to access this feature. Just answer a few simple questions to see plans and prices in your area.

Consumers will still need to complete the Marketplace application to find out if they qualify for lower costs, but this new tool is a much enhanced version of an earlier one, and one more way consumers can get information to help them get ready to enroll and find a plan that fits their needs and budget.

Today, we also provided an update on a few metrics and examples of additional fixes we’ve put in place:

  • As of noon today (from 12am to 12pm), we had seen 375,000 visitors to HealthCare.gov – consumers who are learning, applying, shopping and enrolling.  Yesterday, we explained that the site can handle more than 800,000 visitors a day, and we are on pace for that to happen today.
  • Due to the demand we’re seeing, we’ve deployed our new customer queuing system, or waiting room, to help manage traffic. At approximately 10 am, our operations team - monitoring traffic patterns in real time - put the queuing system in place when they saw response times and error messages start to appear for consumers in the application process. Over the twelve hours from midnight to noon, the response time was more than 2 seconds and error rate averaged 0.9 percent.
  • Over the last several weeks, we’ve made a number of changes to improve the accuracy of the “834” messages to issuers.  The team, working with issuers, determined that more than 80 percent of 834 production errors were due to a bug that prevented a Social Security number from being included in the application, which in turn caused the system not to generate an 834. That bug has been fixed. Other issues related to the remaining 834 production issues have either been fixed or are in testing so that the fixes can be deployed soon.


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/.

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Submitted by Glynis on
Are you getting an error message when you try to log in? Perhaps you should try creating an entirely new account with a new username, new password, and different email address. Delete your cookies, temporary internet files, and history first, log out, then restart your browser before you create the new account. Also make sure your browser and java plugin are the current up to date versions.
Submitted by Penny on
i just started to look at the page...will wait to see how it works now.
Submitted by kc on
lots of problems here took several hours to get on and then saw how much I would have to pay and I thought I would have a heart attack I am going to sit back and wait I cant afford this it will bankrupt me
Submitted by anonymous on
If it is going to cost you too much through the marketplace, You must not be eligible for a subsidy.. Then you should go directly through the insurer.. you don't need to use the marketplace...
Submitted by Suzannah on
I have had the application and tax credit since 11/4, chose a plan, applied. Been held there ever since. It wants me to be 2 groups and 6 people and 4 for dental. I have called, I have chatted, I have called again, and again. Different answer. Someone will call within 5 days. No, nothing from these guys. I am single, no children, one person the website wants to multiply everytime I try to get past the glitch. Grrrrr.
Submitted by Glynis on
You should delete that application and start over. There is obviously some kind of corruption going on there. Delete your cookies, temporary internet files, and history, log out and restart the browser to delete any thing saved on your computer from that application.
Submitted by Dywyki on
Ditto Lisa: My eligibility pdf makes no sense as it references tables and phone numbers that are not there. The last 2 weeks I can not even sign on. The log in button is whited out. My insurance policy was cancelled 1/1/14 and the new policy proposed is more than double. Called the Market Place 3 times now, they couldn't understand what was happening and asked me to call back later. Even when I could log on there were no policies to shop, no idea of amount for credit or subsidy available. This is only the beginning; doctors will eventually be nationalized. I can see many leaving the profession. College graduates are already being advised to seek other professions. Insurance won't do any good without doctors.
Submitted by Anonymous on
It sounds like you may need to update your browser or your plugins.
Submitted by Glynis on
That white login button happens to me with Firefox. Use a different browser and make sure it and the java plugin are up to date. Chrome browser seems to be working best because it has minimal features. Disable add-ons and disable pop-up, ad, and script blocking. Delete your cookies, temporary internet files, and history first and restart your browser before you login again. It sounds like you have a corrupted application so you should use the new 'remove' button to delete that one and start over.
Submitted by A C on
Great Improvements to the shopping experience! The questions are now on one page for an easier experience. Now take the experience two steps further with the following updates; 1. Add the subsidy calculator to the shopping update. Contact the code writers at www.healthsherpa.com or any of the state marketplaces that have this feature in place. 2. Once a subsidy is calculated, list the individual/family % of FPL on the left side of the final shopping screen along with the individual/family % of premium limit based upon their reported income via shopping. You are still listing the retail premium prices only in the shopping screens which is not helping buyers. The buyers want to get an estimate of their FINAL costs via shopping. That can only happen after factoring in an ESTIMATED subsidy with a note that a final subsidy calculation will occur after income verification, etc. Updating the site with the subsidy calculator should only take about 8-16 hours of programming/testing. Think about adding it in quickly.
Submitted by Glynis on
It is important that your browser and java plugin are the current up to date versions. Chrome browser is working the best probably because it has minimal features. Disable add-ons and disable pop-up, ad, or script blocking. Delete your cookies, temporary internet files, and history so that data from a previous session stored on your computer doesn't interfere with your current session. Repeat this step if you get errors or blank pages. Also, 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.
Submitted by Andy on
I was able to re-do the application, but because the site could not verify my identity the application was not submitted. I called the number given on the verification page with my code, but they could not find me neither by code, ssn, or last name. This is truly an awful scenario. What will my family do come January 1st? My previous insurance has been canceled.
Submitted by Glynis on
it might be to your advantage to get in person help in enrolling. You can find someone in your state at localhelp.healthcare.gov. You can also go to an ACA certified insurance broker or agent to help you enroll.
Submitted by John on
Thanks Goodness my smart state government created its own exchange. No problems here!
Submitted by beverly on
You are so lucky John! My stupid state decided to go with the federal marketplace. :(
Submitted by Roger on
I was finally able to make it through my application yesterday so that I could see my subsidy and insurance options. Hooray! I'm not selecting my plan until you work out more of the "834" bugs. IMPORTANT SUGGESTION FOR OTHER USERS ====================================== You can now delete your application and begin again. Click on the "Remove" button next to your application. You will have to reenter your entire application again, but this will resolve many stuck applications because your application data is probably corrupted. It worked for me!
Submitted by Mary on
Still NOT working. Removed application time and time again. Called, etc... No one is able to help. Sure wish I could get paid for the hours I've spent on this and the hours of worry and lost sleep. Then I might be able to afford to purchase insurance coverage.
Submitted by Brenda M Thomas on
The system is showing that my application has been approved, However I did not submit one.
Submitted by Glynis on
Then call the 800 number so they can investigate.
Submitted by Abad on
Same as Andy on December 3. Sick and tired of being told to go to the other site, even after giving the allocated Code number, then giving the Social Security number and photo-copy of the Social Security card plus New Jersey State Id. Card. They still could not locate me. Gave them my ' pending ' application number, still they can not find my application. Advise me rto go to other tel. number, who in turn revert me back to the first one. When is this going to end ???
Submitted by Glynis on
you obviously need in person help. If there is something unusual about your situation that they can't verify you online then trying to use the online application will only continue to be frustrating. Contact an insurance broker in your area. They are helping people enroll in Marketplace plans with subsidies.
Submitted by Anonymous on
I am having more problems now than before you started improving. I can not navigate the site. I get sent back to the page bfore. I had applied and received the amout of tax credit and was browsing the plans offered but didn't like what I found. That was before the improvements were made now I can't get past the page after I login.
Submitted by Glynis on
Delete your cookies, temporary internet files, and hisotry then logout and restart your browser to delete anything that was saved on your computer from previous login session. Also make sure your browser and java plugin are the current up to date versions.
Submitted by Peggy A on
I am from Florida, where my Governor did not want to set up an exchange. I worked for a mortgage company (MIC) that received the record $7.5 MILLION FCC fine. So he shut down the company. My $230 Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance (I had no claims while insured) would be $430 with COBRA. I went on the web site in late October. I could not get on the site, but the instant messaging redirected me to the hyperlink to print out an application. In two weeks, someone called me after I sent in the application. I gave them more info and they said they would call me in two weeks with my subsidy. Yesterday, I went on the site, after a 3 minute wait, which the screen said to wait, I got in. I verified personal info, so the site directed me to my saved application. Then asked me if the info was correct. I selected 5 health plans to review. The computer site placed them vertically for a side by side comparison. Then per health plan, I was able to click a hyperlink to the company's page. It gave me a breakdown of coverage and a list of doctors. The subsidy review is before you select a plan. It asked me if my income for last year would be roughly the same. My subsidy is over 75% I selected a new insurer because I did not like BCBS. The deductibles were better and they covered more than BCBS. I also selected a dental plan. And all this took less than 20 minutes. If you are idle on the selection process, the computer tells you to click OK that you have 30 more minutes. Oh, I forgot one more thing, the site GOES LIKE THE WIND!
Submitted by Terminate all coverage on
Last time I checked, the "Terminate all coverage" button - required to start over with a clean slate in my case of the insurer not being notified - did. Not. Work. At all.