Roughly 275,000 “come back, we miss you” emails will be sent in waves this week encouraging consumers who couldn’t create an account or log-in to the malfunctioning Healthcare.gov website to try again, officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said Tuesday.
The announcement comes as the agency is working to meet a self-imposed Nov. 30 deadline for getting the exchange site fully operational and glitch-free so users can enroll and begin looking for health insurance. Sending the emails in waves — batches of 10,000 at a time, officials say — is meant to keep frustrated users from returning all at once.
“We’re beginning to send messages to consumers who had account creation issues and giving them instructions on how to get enrolled and steps to do so,” said Julie Bataille, director of the CMS Office of Communications.
She said that since fixes and enhancements have begun many of the site’s account creation issues have been resolved.
Enhancements made to the website over the weekend include more data storage to handle the volume of visitors, a saving and removing option to upload documents, consumer alerts on plan comparisons and unique identifiers for people choosing to use insurance brokers.
Bataille also said the agency hopes to release enrollment numbers by the end of the week, including a count of people who submitted an application and selected an insurance plan but who may not have paid their first month’s premium yet. She noted that Massachusetts’ initial enrollment numbers were low when it implemented its health care overhaul law in 2006.
“We’re actively working to release enrollment information that’s reliable and accurate,” Bataille said. “Given our own technical issues with HealthCare.gov, our enrollment numbers will be low.”
Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.