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HealthCare.gov Moving Forward

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Yesterday marked the final day to enroll in quality Marketplace coverage that begins on February 1st, and HealthCare.gov continued to perform very well under heavy consumer demand.  We had more than 618,000 visits to HealthCare.gov in the past 24 hours, and almost 1.9 million visits this week so far.   Site traffic and volume represents the highest since our December enrollment surge -- showing that there continues to be strong demand for affordable health coverage.  Consumers are applying, shopping and enrolling in coverage every day. 

HealthCare.gov now works for the vast majority of users: System error rates are low (averaging less than 0.5%); response times are consistently less than half a second; uptime is 99+%.  Our December enrollment surge demonstrated that existing system capacity can handle more than 1.8 million site visits per day – we even serviced over 83,000 users at once.  As we enter a new year and new phase of open enrollment we welcome consumers to come to HealthCare.gov and find quality health coverage that’s right for them.   

Our efforts last fall were laser focused on improving the overall online consumer experience. As we enter the next phase of our work, our tech team remains vigilant in our focus –continuing to make improvements that will enhance the consumer experience—but now prioritizing functionality for HealthCare.gov that was less immediately needed for consumers to apply and enroll in coverage in the early days of open enrollment. 

Work remains on back end systems to automate and smooth intersections with third parties including health plans and states -- enabling them to connect more seamlessly to and from HealthCare.gov as needed – and to handle more complex consumer transactions important now that new coverage has begun for millions of Americans.

Our work continues to be led by QSSI, who ably provides integration and technical oversight and is continuing to support our overall efforts in a senior advisory role – with a dedicated team from CMS and our business partners in place 24/7 to monitor the system in real time.  This team is handling live site issues and tracking them from start to finish from our Operations Center, identifying new bugs as they arise, and putting in software fixes that will continue to enhance the consumer interface and system performance as a whole.  We also now have significant consumer feedback from the past few months that is built into our ongoing work plan. 

We will approach this next round of work with the same focus and execution that our team is now accustomed to –with daily meetings led from our operations center and reports to senior leadership; ongoing dialogue and technical assistance with our partners in states and health plans; input from consumers and stakeholders; prioritization of key issues; and focus on accountability for those helping do this work. 

As CMS moves forward in our efforts to help consumers access quality, affordable health coverage, QSSI will work with us to oversee a smooth transition in work--where needed--among all of our contract partners to ensure that HealthCare.gov continues to serve consumers well for the duration of open enrollment and is further enhanced to meet future needs.

We are pleased that HealthCare.gov has helped millions of Americans access health care. But, our work is not over. We have accomplished a great deal, but we have much left to do. We are keeping our eye on the ball to make sure HealthCare.gov works well--and steadily improves--as we invite new consumers to sign up for affordable, quality health coverage in the months ahead. 


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 Nancy on
I signed up for the ACA Consumers Choice Plan with start up Jan. 1, 2014; they have been late sending out their invoices for payment every month; today is April 28th and I still have not received May's invoice which is due May 1st. I tried to call them this morning; took 15 minutes for someone to answer; was the operator who took my phone number and said a representative would call me back; that was over 2 hours ago. What happens if I never receive the invoice.
Submitted by Steve on
I still have not received a callback and I still can't enroll through the website. Considering the mounting penalties, this is getting very grave.
Submitted by Lindsay on
Are you still calling people back to enroll? My mother called in for assistance to enroll, and you had her leave her phone number for a callback. She hasn't been called back yet... is it over??
Submitted by Self Employed on
I had two choices for insurance coverage, Blue Cross or Humana. Blue Cross costs c. $200 more than Humana for what appears to be similar coverages. I chose Humana -- recognizable name. Seemed safe. However, Humana is avoiding contact by phone. There are no local Humana offices in my state. Humana directs all their calls to the Internet. There are no week-end calling hours. Humana's best health insurance contract leaves out a lot of ordinary coverage, including basic medications. Humana only has two approved local pharmacies, Walmart or Sam's Club and CVS. Humana requires extra documentation in the form of "PA" for ordinary prescriptions. Humana's business practices are discriminatory towards women. Humana failed to provide a list of their preferred providers after many requests. Humana presumes that all their customers are medicare subscribers. Humana's term for non-medicare subscribers is "commercial". It took 2.5 months for Humana to provide a copy of their insurance policy. There seems to be no oversight of the health insurance companies, locally or nationally. Humana has been in business for over 50 years and their rep told me that they could not prepare for the increase in their business brought to them by the ACA. Humana is a Fortune 500 company with a $39.1 billion revenue in 2012. The CEO, Bruce Broussard, is more of a showman than he is a working man. I received a candy bar from Humana in the mail as an apology. Really, I need the Humana approved provider list and health care coverage, not their company candy bar.
Submitted by KT on
Where do I send proof of my U.S. citizenship? It says "Send a copy of one of the documents electronically to the Marketplace by logging into your Marketplace account" I have logged into my account many times, I do not see anything that lets you send or upload any documents. I also do not see where I can look for plans.
Submitted by Kourtney on
As a person who was recently layed off, I am truly thankful to have affordable healthcare during my search for new employment. However, the run around I've received from the healthcare marketplace & their escalations that can take 30 days to receive a resolution completely unacceptable. I signed up for a plan in February for a March 1st enrollment. I never received an invoice from Humana & followed up with them. Initially, Humana had no record of my application, only a policy under my previous employer. After 3 phone calls and back and forth transfer to the Marketplace customer service team, the Marketplace stated that it was submitted in February and that I needed to wait while the issue was escalated. When asked when would someone followup with me, I was told by the week's end. Of course the end of the week came & I still had not received any communication back for the Marketplace. Again, I called the Marketplace and they told me that it could be up to 30 days before I heard anything back and to check with Humana on if the healthcare expenses that I was incurring during March would be applied towards my benefits once all issues were resolved. I again called Humana who finally searched and found a pending application for me, which couldn't be pulled up in their system because it was missing my ssn & had my birthday listed as 01/01/0001 (apparently I've been around since the dawn of time and am not 29 years old). Humana instructed me to contact the Marketplace, have them update the info, & resubmit the application. Of course, upon contacting the Marketplace and reviewing the application, the Marketplace rep claims all info is accurate...wait 30 days for someone to contact you. At this point, I'm so frustrated with the process and will be contacting my state legislative representatives to express my grievances. This process is a mess! Hopefully they get some resolutions & they get them quickly! I'm glad to know that I am not the only one!
Submitted by Yvonne on
Right now, my eyes are filled with tears, and my heart with joy just thinking about what Obamacare could do for the country in terms of quality health care. I look forward to the day that we've removed all obstacles in its path; the day that we bring resolution to the dilemmas, politics, and challenges we face on a daily basis associated with the rollout and implementation process of ObamaCare.
Submitted by connie on
what does error id... 500.000888 mean?
Submitted by Brigitte on
Error ID:500.300588 We're having trouble getting plan information. ~ how much longer is this going to go on? Trying to set opting out of Dental and it never saves, which then seems to screw up the final health plan confirmation. I tried to do the right thing by encouraging my "young adult" son to sign up for a plan but after spending hours and hours on this he's ready to throw in the towel and just take the fine in the end, which seems just a tad wrong given there is no solution or help to actually get his chosen plan in place.
Submitted by Brunilda on
I applied for health coverage in Dec. and chose a plan to meet the dateline of Dec.24 to start coverage in Jan. I have to say that it was very confusing learning about all the different plan to consider. After that choosing a plan and based on information that we could change plans later, I wanted to consider a better plan for my family. I contacted the marketplace and was advised by a representative to reapply after paying my first premium to my plan. Big mistake. When I called back I was told that I couldn't reapply because I was already covered. I asked to talk to a supervisor who understood that my actions were based on misinformation from a representative and wrote a request to the escalation department. This dept was going to contact me within 30 days. That was Jan 12, and I''m still waiting to hear from them. I have called several times and nobody seems to be able to get an answer from this escalation dept. There is no way of contacting the escalation dept according to the representatives that I have talked to. All they do is send another request to contact me. My experience has been extremely unpleasant not only because of the misinformation but also because of the lack of response.
Submitted by Matt A in Oklahoma on
I honestly feel ignored by HHS. Thousands of us have no marketplace health coverage because of error id:500.300588. Tonight, a tech told me that the current estimate is that over 400,000 applications have been ruined by this error. This error has been known for four months now. We have complained about it here, on the healthcare.gov Facebook page, and to your support techs. And yet not a darned thing has been done to fix it. We haven't even been acknowledged. HHS, you are ignoring this problem. Hundreds of thousands of applicants still don't have heath coverage because of error id:500.300588.
Submitted by Greg on
I have been unable to access a 95% completed application this entire week due to technical issues on your end. I have spent over 4 hours across 3 days speaking with representatives who are unable to upload my application so that it can be completed. I have been trying to complete and submit this application by Feb 15 since I need coverage on March 1, but am now being told the system isn't working and won't be working until Feb 18, which is the new deadline for March 1 coverage. It is incredible that 4.5 months into this thing it still doesn't work yet you continue to tout the improvements that you have made. This is shameful.
Submitted by Patrick on
I was told by Courtney at Healthcare.gov that there will be a special grace period for those who were affected by the system shutdown. My application was completed at 2:30 ET today but the system shutdown until the 18th is preventing me from submitting it. The grace period, as explained by Courtney, will still allow my coverage to start on March 1st. Fingers crossed that this all comes to pass as promised.
Submitted by Mike on
Very excited to report that I have received a new error today: Error ID 500.100. After finally getting past the error where I could not sign and submit my application, now I can't apply my tax credit. I have been at this since early December and this shit is getting ridiculous. I'm sure more people would sign up if they could, but this website doesn't work properly. Error 500.100 is what is holding me up now and it seems that I'm one of many who have problems with this.
Submitted by Webster on
I began my application January 1, 2014. However, I chose a plan on January 13 so that I would meet the January 15 deadline; I was told my courage would start on Feb. 1. The marketplace rep told me someone will call me within a few days. I waited and waited no call. I then called them back on the 23rd and was given the insurance company phone number (Humana). I contacted them and was told they couldn't find my information but give it a few days. I did what was requested and no one called me. I called the marketplace back on the 27th and explained my situation which I was then told it was forwarded the the escalations(health insurance caseworker service) and someone should be calling me within a few days.( no call back) I called Humana on 28 th and I was told my invoice should be in the mail before the 1st.(no invoice). On Feb. 4 I called the marketplace and I was told the esclation department was handling my case but the haven't began the process and they have up to 30 days (Really). I then called Humana corporate office and they were nice enough to call the marketplace on 3 way for me; we found out my case was locked due to a payment not being received on Feb.1. The insurance rep asked the young lady how could that be because they never received my information needless to say no one knew what was going on. A supervisor came on the line and told the insurance rep and I that the esclation department was handling it and she didn't no anything else and we couldnt be transferred to the esclations department. Now I'm here still with no answers.
Submitted by Shean on
I have been attempting to correct my birthdate error on my Application since Blue Cross informed me of the error in early January......more than 10 escellations have been done and to no sucess.....I wonder why it is so hard to change a 12 to a 17 on something as simple as a date.....my Coverage has previously started,,,,,but you can not go to the doctor have surgery or even fill prescriptions when the Dr. Office tells you that your ins does not match the information on file. I do not understand why this is so DIFFICULT
Submitted by Red Error on
Any new updates on how to counter error 500.(xxx)? I've removed the application as requested but I still get the same error. I called up the marketplace but they don't have any relief from this issue either, so I've heard that your technicians are "working around the clock to resolve the issue", so any progress?
Submitted by Sarah on
I received an error code 500....I think it was 500.01578 or 500.1579 or 500.100578 (500 errors all seem to blend together for me) right after I submitted the application and started getting ready to look at plans. Mine turned out to have been caused from not checking that my mailing address is also my home address before I submitted my application. Two days before before that happened, I got error 500.000888. That one was much easier to get rid of - I just had to open up a new browser window in incognito mode (I use Chrome. IE has the same kind of thing only they call it in private browsing). Maybe your error code could be resolved in a similar fashion? These errors appear for a reason, even if that reason makes you feel like you're living in an episode of the flintstones.
Submitted by Mahdi on
I am an international student and I have tried the website more than 20 times to buy an affordable insurance for my wife. The system keeps issuing the same message: "You have started an application for health coverage, but our verification system is temporarily unavailable." I am not optimistic about it and I think I will end up continuing her current insurance plan at a very high rate.
Submitted by Anonymous on
Call in (1800 318-2596) and explain your problem. This is a known issue and they will be able to help you. Just be sure you call in during normal business hours Monday - Friday.
Submitted by Mike on
Just a heads up to those who already have insurance from the marketplace. We paid our January payment mid Decmber. We have now called three times for our Feburary invoice. They said they sent them out on different dates each time we called. Is it possible that the insurance underwriters are doing quick checks and starting to eliminate certain people with existing conditions for non payment. Would they? Yes they would. Thats why we always needed single payer.
Submitted by John on
Hey Mike, The affordable care act prevents those with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage. Even with the invoice not delivered, most insurance companies were extending coverage even though payments hadn't been processed yet. Your coverage may be effective already. Call your insurance company for your member ID number and Group number, plan name, and insurance carrier. You may be able to use your medical coverage right away. As far as getting invoices, I know that insurance companies are still facing a rush of applicants and may be having trouble generating the invoices on time. This is not your fault, but it may take a little extra time. There may have been a clerical issue. Be certain to confirm your address with the representative at the insurance company. Also, there is no medical history data provided on applications for health coverage through Healthcare.gov
Submitted by Jeremy on
I STILL cannot finish setting up my account on healthcare.gov. I have gotten as far as the part where it explaines to me about using all, some, or none of my tax subsidy towards the monthly deductible. When I try and move foreward to where I think I actually get to see how much subsidy I qualify for and select how much to apply, it gives me an error message and states to please try again. It has been doing this since sometime in December. NOTHING HAS BEEN FIXED, and I cannot enroll. So, now what? Is my government going to fine me because its webste is still broke and I cant get insurance?
Submitted by John on
Is this the 500801* error? There are few variations. I had issue with this same error. The only thing that I could do to get past this is to remove the application, and start again using the same account. Now that you have already completed an application, you should have all the numbers, addresses, names, and income information. Now you just have to enter that again. If that doesn't work, then remove the application and start again. I know this is tedious but it can work. If you have trouble with that, you may call the Health Insurance Marketplace to complete an application. You can call the marketplace help center 24/7 at 1-800-318-2596
Submitted by Zeleka G. on
I am a naturalized citizen with an American passport. I handed my cirtificate of citizenship over at the time my passport was issued to me many many years back. The application for the affordable health insurance plan wants the number on my cirtificate of citizenship or else it wont move forward. My question is, isnt a passport a litigimate proof for citizenship. Last I checked it is and always has been. I have called the help line and no one seems to know and I cant be the only person with this question. Please let me know if I have to pay over 300 dollars to get a new cirtificate of citizenship or if I can send in a copy of my passport or anything for proof of citizenship so I can complete the application and get coverage sooner then later.