(Reuters) – Two months after the disastrous launch of a website that is a key component of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, administration officials said yesterday they had met their goal of getting the HealthCare.gov site running smoothly but warned that it needs more fixes.
Obama adviser Jeffrey Zients said a five-week emergency “tech surge” had doubled the capacity of the online health insurance portal that is crucial to helping millions of people shop for insurance plans, while making it more responsive and less prone to errors.
The administration said the effort’s key improvement was to increase HealthCare.gov’s capacity to 50,000 simultaneous users, which would allow the site to handle at least 800,000 users per day.
But Zients also warned that peak traffic volumes during the coming weeks could eclipse the new capacity as consumers rush to sign up before a Dec. 23 deadline for coverage that begins Jan. 1. That could delay some people from completing online applications for subsidized health coverage.
Officials also acknowledged that the site may not operate smoothly for some visitors when traffic volumes are within its capabilities and said they were scrambling to repair and install functions at the crucial “back end” of the system that are needed to finalize enrollments with insurers.