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Getting help enrolling in the health marketplace

News Desk | 11/3/2013, 9:25 a.m.
We’ve also brought in additional experts and specialists drawn from within government, our contractors, and industry, including veterans of top ...

By KATHLEEN SEBELIUS

Secretary of Health and Human Services

Over the past three weeks, millions of you have visited HealthCare.gov to see the health coverage options available on the new Health Insurance Marketplace. This tremendous response confirms that the American people are looking for quality, affordable health coverage.

To help meet consumer demand, you may have heard that there are four ways to apply for health coverage through the Marketplace. Besides going online, you can use a paper application. You can visit a trained assistor in your community. And you can call our Call Center at 1-800-318-2596 to apply for health insurance and enroll over the phone, 24/7 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).

At the Call Center, we’ve had over 1.6 million calls. When the President spoke on Monday, we handled over 120,000 calls over the day, our second highest day so far. And average wait times for calls is less than 30 seconds, and 3 minutes for chats.

To help you with enrolling and accessing coverage, we’ve increased Call Center staffing, and we now have more than 10,000 trained customer service representatives ready and able to handle your calls. I recently had the pleasure of meeting some of our representatives in Tampa and, today, in Phoenix. Every member of our Call Center staff is trained to help answer your questions about applying, and I was impressed by their expertise and their enthusiasm.

Whether you just have a question, or are ready to enroll in quality, affordable health coverage, our Call Center representatives can give you the information and assistance you need and want. Call today at 1-800-318-2596. Help is just a phone call away.

Over the last few days, we’ve shared updates with you on our tech surge and the steps we’re taking to ensure that HealthCare.gov gets better. Starting tomorrow and moving forward, we will also provide updates through regular blogs and CMS press telebriefings. We know how critical affordable health coverage is, and as I’ve committed, we won’t stop improving the site until every American who wants it gains access to these new options for care.

Today, we wanted to share an infographic that provides a snapshot of where we are—including technical issues we’re addressing and solutions that our team is putting into place to improve the consumer experience on HealthCare.gov. Please take a moment to look and feel free to share the graphic with anyone you know that may have questions about the site in your own social networks.

We are committed to continuing to update you on our progress as we improve the site. As always, your feedback is critical to this process. Please feel free to submit comments about your experience, either complimentary or critical, at https://www.healthcare.gov/connect/.

Today, we are announcing key steps the Department is taking as part of a tech surge to continue to improve the consumer experience on HealthCare.gov.

First, I am very pleased to announce we are bringing management expert and former CEO and Chairman of two publicly traded companies Jeff Zients on board to work in close cooperation with our HHS team to provide management advice and counsel to the project. Jeff has led some of the country’s top management firms, providing private sector companies around the world with best practices in management, strategy and operations. He has a proven track record as Acting Director at the Office of Management and Budget and as the nation’s first Chief Performance Officer. Working alongside our team and using his rich expertise and management acumen, Jeff will provide short-term advice, assessments and recommendations.