HealthCare.gov, the United States’ glitch-plagued insurance-shopping Web, has recovered right on time to meet the December 1 deadline set by the Obama administration to get the site fixed.
“HealthCare.gov on Dec. 1 is night and day from where it was on Oct.1,” declared Jeffrey Zients, former acting director at the White House Office of management and Budget. Zients also serves as management consultant for repairs on the Web site serving as a health insurance exchange for the U.S. Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also popularly known as Obamacare.
The first month of the program’s a six-month enrollment period, just over 106,000 people signed up for Obamacare. Less than 27,000 of them did so through the HealthCare.gov website. The site serves as a marketplace where users can pick a health insurance provider that fits their needs and budget.
The web site went live October 1, but has been plagued by error messages, chronic breakdowns and general difficulty for users to get gain access.
The technical difficulties put the President Barack Obama’s signature program in a bad light and also prompted a U.S, House of Representatives special investigation that also probed the involvement of project lead contractor CGI Federal, a subsidiary of Montreal-based CGI Inc.
During the investigation, Cheryl Campbell, senior vice president of CGI Federal, said the site was working but was “still too slow.” She blamed a subcontractor for the difficulties suffered by users.
Andy Slavitt, group executive vice president of the subcontractor firm Optum, blamed the issues on a “late decision” to require users to register for an account before they could browse the insurance products. He said this may have caused the volume of online requests to file up and overwhelm the system.
Officials said that since then 400 technical problems were resolved. They declined to say how many remains to be dealt with.
If the Obama administration’s diagnosis proves right, the site would now be able to handle its original intended volume of 50,000 concurrent users for a total of 800,000 visitors a day.The overall enrollment target by March 31 is 7 million.
Zients said average response time of the site is now less than one second and that system uptime was surpassing 90 per cent.