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Obama Administration Highlights Health Care Website Fixes

Officials: HealthCare.gov Can Now Handle 50K Users At A Time, 800K Per Day
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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Following a roll out plagued with glitches and frustration, the Obama Administration is reporting dramatic improvements in its health care website.

The Health and Human Services Department released a progress report Sunday on its effort get the troubled HealthCare.gov website fully functional.

Officials said more than 400 bugs in the system have been fixed, and a queue system telling people how long the wait would be has been added, CBS 2’s Dick Brennan reported Monday.

“We believe that the website is and will function effectively for the vast majority of users. And each day, we will continue to take steps to make further improvements so that that experience is enhanced for users every day,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Troubleshooters working on the website claim it can now handle 50,000 users at a time and up to 800,000 each day.

“We’ve executed hundreds of software fixes and hardware upgrades. And the site is now stable and operating at its intended capacity with greatly improved performance,” adviser Jeffrey Zients said.

Health and Human Services Department officials said system failures have fallen from 6 percent in October to less than 1 percent.  They also said response times for web pages have declined from eight seconds to less than one.

Despite all of the fixes, reports of consumers still experiencing delays also came out on Monday.

“When you have the surge that we’re likely seeing, you’re going to get this queue message, potentially, if you’re trying to enroll, which allows for you to return to the site when it’s going to be less crowded,” Carney said.

The White House also sought to downplay a report in the New York Times that said many of the systems designed to deliver personal information about enrollees to insurers remained unresolved. In the story, insurance companies complained they were receiving inaccurate and incomplete data from the government about individuals attempting to purchase insurance, Brennan reported.

Overnight Sunday, technicians also deployed a major new upgrade in the form of a window shopping feature that lets consumers get details on their insurance options without first having to fill out an application.

New York’s health care exchange has fared much better than the national website, with many customers expressing satisfaction and officials boasting almost twice the amount of signups compared to HealthCare.gov as of late November.

Federal officials acknowledged more work remains on the website, which made its national debut two months ago with hundreds of software flaws, inadequate equipment and inefficient management.

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