The Obamacare rollout started out rocky—for the first few weeks, the Healthcare.gov site was down approximately 60% of the time, but it looks like things are starting to fall into place. Some 100,000 people have reportedly enrolled via the federal Healthcare.gov website, marking a nearly four-fold increase over October, when just 27,000 of the 106,000 enrollees signed up for a health plan via Healthcare.gov.
Of course, since we’re coming off of the holiday weekend, you probably heard all the conspiracy theories. One of my family members declared at the dinner table that the site was never meant to work in the first place because the Obama administration really wants a single-payer system. Because reasons.
No word on how many people have enrolled altogether from the federal site as well as state-run exchanges, but Bloomberg reports that the Obama administration expects more people to sign up in early 2014.
The White House said on Sunday that it had made “dramatic progress” in fixing all of the bugs in the Healthcare.gov website. The same day, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released an 8-page report detailing the steps it’s taken to remedy the problems that have entangled users and prevented them from enrolling. The CMS noted that the problems stemmed from “hundreds of software bugs, insufficient hardware and infrastructure.”
In the last few weeks, the CMS has addressed the problems with Healthcare.gov via real-time monitoring, some 400 bug fixes and software improvements, hardware upgrades, response time of less than one second, reduced error rates and improved system stability and capacity.
The site is now capable of supporting 50,000 concurrent users and a minimum of 800,000 visits a day.
“While we strive to innovate and improve our outreach and systems for reaching consumers, we believe we have met the goal of having a system that will work smoothly for the vast majority of users,” the report concludes.
Healthcare.gov serves 36 states, so improving site performance is kind of a big deal. That said, while the site’s functionality has improved dramatically, the White House has reportedly reduced its target goal of 800,000 new enrollees for the first two months.
And there’s more work to be done. While site performance has improved, but the team is now focused on fixing the backend, which has had problems with verifying users’ identities and transmitting data back to insurers.
As of Sunday evening, the site had 300,000 visits, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Image source: csmonitor.com