HealthCare.gov, despite a rocky launch, seems to be improving. An advisor to President Obama said that in the past week, there were no unscheduled outages. For some users, the first several weeks of the federal healthcare exchanges site was a trying experience. With slow load times, error-filled pages, and unexpected down times, the president began to take flak from both sides of the aisle.
Concerns over HealthCare.gov’s problems prompted Obama to set a November 30 deadline. By that date, he says, the federal exchanges website will be fully functional for most users. More recently, as Washington Post reports, the president has set another goal: To have at least 80 percent of Americans be able to successfully enroll for health insurance via HealthCare.gov. The modest goal suggests that as many as one in five insurance seekers could be left to get access to federal exchanges in other ways, such as through a toll-free phone service.
On Friday Jeff Zients explained that major strides had been made with HealthCare.gov. Zients, a White House Office of Management and Budget deputy director, was brought in to oversee the upgrades to the insurance exchanges website. As UPI reports, Zients says that aside from no unscheduled down times for the website, errors have dropped to less than one percent for users. Most website bugs have been squashed as well. After eliminating 200 bugs, around 50 big ones are left to deal with, Zients says.
Right now there are still issues to tackle, Zients says. Their goals are to continue to cut error rates and speed up response times. He says the heavy traffic from peak use times still seems to be slowing the speed of HealthCare.gov for some users. However, since the website’s launch on October 1, the average page load time for users has dropped from eight seconds to less than one second.
Zients says that to meet President Obama’s November 30 deadline, his team will continue to add servers and expand database capacity. He says doing so is expected to allow HealthCare.gov to be speedy and functional for most users, even during peak hours.