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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/.

Join the Conversation


Submitted by Glynis on
How do you know it didn't work?
Submitted by Terminate all coverage on
There are 2 ways to know if 'Terminate all coverage' did or did not work. 1) There is no change in your application/enrollment status (initial enrollment), even after logging off and back on. 2) (advanced users only) If you use the Firebug add-on, you will see in the REST calls in the console log that there is no response at all to the 'Terminate all coverage' call. Note well that it didn't work for me in my application, that also does not notify the insurer, so there may be a lot wrong with that particular application. Your mileage may vary.
Submitted by Lisa on
Dec 3 site still isn't working for me. Still stuck where pdf file does not give amount of tax credit and only says I am eligible for market place shopping but site takes me to apply tax credit only there is no amount. I should qualify for a tax credit my family makes less than the $62,000 for two people. Still waiting for call from Advance Resource Center. Going to the new page that tells more details about the cost of a plan in my state with out applying tax credit only causes sticker shock. A married couple no children 60 and 62 years old making $62,000 a year will pay over $1,500 a month. That is $18,000 a year. Almost 30% of their salary. That isn't a very big salary in my state with rent starting on the low end of $1500 and if you own a house property tax at $10,000 many 60 year olds are still paying a mortgage at $1000 dollars a month. That is $22000 for a house with property tax. Add $18,000 for Obamacare that is $40,000 that doesn't leave much left for groceries, other insurances, utilities and taxes.. Add the $4000 deductible 30 % co pays 70% coverage it is down right scary to see the cost of health insurance. It certainly is more than the $900 a month we pay for our crappy insurance policy that has worked for many of us mostly because we haven't had any major illnesses. It is the reason why I think many are complaining that their $10000 policy is being cancelled. I thought the hardest part of signing up for Obamacare would be choosing a policy. The hardest part is just getting to where you can choose a policy. Right now I would take any policy just to know that I will have insurance come Jan1.
Submitted by Glynis on
If you're still stuck then use the new "Remove" button to delete that application and start over. First delete cookies, temporary internet files, and history then log out and restart your browser to delete anything saved on your computer from that application. Also make sure your browser and java plugin are up to date.
Submitted by jdf on
Your new prices and plans improvement is worthless. Can't get list of hospitals and Doctor's so where are the enhancements? More of the same BS.
Submitted by Glynis on
I don't know what you're looking at but if you click the "details" button with each plan it does include links to that information.
Submitted by jdf on
Glynis, Was looking at med HSA2000-gold which jumps to dental and can't get to Doctors and Hospitals.. All others seem to work. Must be a Med Mutual site problem, can't blame that on Obamacare site problem I guess!! It was a big disappointment when Shop was delayed because we had planned on using for our small buisness, so scrambling. Thanks
Submitted by Bull on
What a bunch of bull...18 tries yesterday 6 today still get the same errors. Data does not save. Still can't see results or plans. Talk all you want the site is months away from working...
Submitted by Glynis on
Delete your application using the new "Remove" button and start over. Delete your cookies, temporary internet files, and history first.
Submitted by Locked out! on
Since Sunday, Dec. 1, access to healthcare.gov is blocked from ip addresses in Europe. Nice for all of us Americans abroad trying to enroll in federally mandated insurance. Unacceptable! Please restore access A.S.A.P.!
Submitted by Glynis on
You should call the 800 number to report this. They are not monitoring this site.
Submitted by Rich on
EXCELLENT!! In particular I like the additional info offered top-level (where it’s "at a glance") enabling shoppers to narrow their choices as they scan the list of available plans. Precisely the sort of “user friendliness” that makes shopping efficient & pleasurable (sorry “pleasurable” is a stretch huh LOL) simply because it’s easier & quicker. Nice job don’t stop keep going keep up the great work!! From a reluctant fan who’s really starting to get excited (re-excited) about the ACA. This time it’s a winner I can feel it in my bones. Hats-off to the surge-team (actually the whole team)!! P.S. I read somewhere your new queuing system (also EXCELLENT!!) sends emails. If that’s true would it be possible to offer email or text message? People tend to answer texts quicker than emails (and it would be a shame to not see losing your spot in the queue). Just a thought not complaining your queuing system is terrific (far-better than enduring slow response times/errors).
Submitted by Lynn on
I still can't see my available insurance and my costs. After electronically signing I go to the next page and it sits there. It's kind of hard to get insured if I can't move forward. All the fixes you mention certainly have done nothing for me.
Submitted by Wanda L. Hubbard on
I've submitted an application but I need to know what my status is.
Submitted by Glynis on
call the 800 number. Posting a comment here won't help you get an answer.
Submitted by Linda on
Here it is 4 am dec 3. Just been on the phone since 2am with rep to apply. STILL NO RESULTS. GET THE SYSTEM FIXED. IT IS NOT FIXED. Been on the phone all day yesterday. And since Oct 18. NO FIXES. No FIXES. No Insurance.
Submitted by Glynis on
it sounds to me like you need some in person help. Find someone in your state by going to localhelp.healthcare.gov.
Submitted by gloria on
need to see a list of insurnce choices
Submitted by Linda on
I was on the phone for three hours on dec 2 trying to apply only to get crashed at 1pm. Been trying since oct 18 System does. NOt accept my ID. Insurer never received my enrollment. Time is running short. Made numerous calls all over the country. How do I get my application ID in the system. I am an American citizen paying taxes for everyone else. I'm sick of this I'm not going to vote again in my life.
Submitted by beverly on
I feel your pain Linda. I've been trying since Oct. 2 to enroll and that healthcare.gov site is a big joke!!!
Submitted by MN on
Two months to figure out that social security numbers were not being included in applications. Wow. That's some cracker jack diagnositcs there. Let me clue you Julie and everyone else working on this site - if your top priority isn't making sure that people actually have their applications successfully processed by payers, which in turn results in people actually being insured, then you've failed. Plain and simple. It doesn't matter what your response time is if you can't complete the cycle. After 45 more minutes today with the 800 number, I'm still being told "you seem to be stuck in a loop, keep trying tomorrow." And, please stop having your call center perpetuate the myth that everyone has until Dec. 23 to sign up. The reality is applications have to be submitted to the payer, they have to process it, bill the customer/patient and recieve the payment by Dec. 23 for insurance to be effective on 1/1/2014. You are creating the impression that someone can logon for the first time, fill out the application and select a plan on 12/23 and expect to have health insurance in place on 1/1 - that's not true.
Submitted by Central FL on
The insurer I enrolled with (Florida Blue) on 12/2 told me that I just have to pay them my premium by 12/31 either by mailing a check to them or by entering my checking account information over the phone through a secure automated system, so I think you are wrong about not being able to start on January 1st. I believe that your coverage can start on Jan 1 as long as you sign up by 12/23 and make your payment by 1/1. I also read in my research that you have a 90 day grace period to pay premiums. Of course, that may not apply to your first premium if you want to be able to start using your insurance right away. However, at least once your plan is effective, you have 90 days to pay each premium. That wouldn't be a good idea to do continuously, but I think the idea is to prevent people from being cancelled just because they pay their premium late. From what I read, the insurance company must pay any claims for the first 30 days after the premium due date even if you haven't paid that premium, but they don't have to pay any claims after 30 days unless you do pay your premium between 31-90 days after it was due.
Submitted by Peggy on
MN, yes it is, because I did it yesterday. And I previously had filled out and mailed in a paper ap.
Submitted by ALBA L RODRIGUEZ on
Hi we enroll truth Ca covered but been impossible to login and unload some information. as they requested, can you help me.
Submitted by Glynis on
If you are using the California exchange you have to go through them.