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HealthCare.gov Moving Forward

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.

 

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