HHS Blog: Hundreds of Improvements on HealthCare.gov, Nov. 27, 2013

Washington, DC—(ENEWSPF)—November 27, 2013.

Julie Bataille, Director of Communications, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

As part of our ongoing efforts to make improvements to HealthCare.gov, we continue to focus on the need to build capacity and fix software bugs.

Increasing capacity has largely been a function of enhancing the hardware side of HealthCare.gov so that it is reliable, scalable and recoverable. To do this, we have added server capacity, improved database functionality, and swapped out directory components.

Software fixes have also been an important part of our work. Our development and testing teams, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, have made hundreds of improvements to system software on both the front-end, which faces consumers, and the back-end, which helps the site operate efficiently. Just last night, we implemented another round of software fixes.

As a result, there are now improvements that:

Make it easier for agents-brokers to find applications for consumers.

Made the user interface more intuitive for consumers by:

o   Improving display of “Plan Results”

o   Properly display spouse or domestic partner information

o   Allowing consumer to more flexibly enter tax information in the system.

All these fixes have greatly enhanced the ability of consumers to use the site to shop for and enroll in health plans that meet their needs. The site is better today than it was on Oct. 1.  We are on track to meet our goal of having the site work for the vast majority of users by the end of the month. To be clear, Nov. 30 does not represent a “re-launch” of the site. It is not a magical date.  There will be times after Nov. 30 when the site, like any web site, does not perform optimally. And work will continue after Nov. 30 to make further improvements.

Because of the numerous upgrades in software and hardware over the last month, on Dec. 1, HealthCare.gov will be able to handle approximately 50,000 users at the same time and more than 800,000 users a day. However, if there are extraordinarily high spikes in traffic, which exceed the site’s capacity, consumers will be put in a new advanced queuing system that allows them to be notified via email when they can return at a later time. If the site does experience high spikes in volume, as we saw in the first few days of October, we will recommend that consumers consider visiting the site during off-peak hours in the mornings, evenings or on weekends. 

Again, we are seeing improvements week over week with lower error rates and faster response times. Our work will continue so that every American who wants it, can access and enroll in affordable, high quality health coverage.

Source: hhs.gov