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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 ATL Guy on
Good job and keep on fixing the site. It's not fixed until it's 99.99999% available to all users. Keep on improving the site. There's a need from people to finally see what they get when they buy insurance so that they do not go broke from an illness with a junk insurance plan. Yay, HHS!!!!!
Submitted by Will on
With all the dribs and drabs of good news at the site flowing out, I hope that the staff at HHS is sensitive to the fact that thousands of people are patiently waiting for updates on Identity Verification. Weeks turn into months as the 3-5 business day promises slip by the wayside. I sit frozen at the last step - electronic signature - because some person won't match either my uploaded documents or my physical copies sent to HHS in Kentucky. So I hope that either department staffing can be shifted to help the frozen-out masses, OR if this remains a slow fix, please give a public update on how long this particular problem is likely to persist. I appreciate that you have a big multi-faceted problem on your hands, but there really is no reason why in 2013 a person should have to wait 5+ weeks just to have a driver's license or passport photo confirmed by the people who issue these sorts of things. Thanks.
Submitted by Glynis on
delete your application by using the new "Remove" button and start over. This works for people stuck like you are. First delete your cookies, temporary internet files, and history then logout and restart your browser to delete anything that was saved on your computer from the first application.
Submitted by Glynis on
For the best user experience you need to use the current version of your browser with an up to date java plugin. Chrome browser is working the best probably because it has minimal features. If you use IE or Safari you should make sure you disable add-ons. Also, disable any ad or script blocking. It's always a good idea to clear 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. 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 have a freeze on your credit report you have to lift that in order for identity verification to work. For tips and tricks on how to complete the application and enroll in a plan and help troubleshooting the common problems being posted here, Google: "my obamacare success story: It was worth the wait!"
Submitted by Calli on
I've done all you've suggested, but am stuck on the "confirm" (insurance choices). Clicking confirm just sends me to a page that never loads. And I'm confused because the "total" shown is the full cost of the plans I chose---even though it says the total is "with tax credit." Where does the tax credit get applied? I know we would get a credit-- pretty low income. I'm so close---maybe I should start over. What do you think---anybody? Anybody else stuck at the Confirm page?