Obamacare Website: Will It Be Ready By Saturday For A Surge In Use?


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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) website has been nothing but troublesome since its launch October 1st for those trying to gain access to affordable health insurance.

The problems were many, from the site being completely shut down, to freezing and taking an extremely long time to access applications and other information. When the Obama Administration hired Jeffrey Zients to fix the website, it was to be up and running by November 30th.

Although the enrollment process has been described as "working smoothly" nobody really knows what that means. Will the site hold up during the expected mad rush of users next month, trying to get registered and enrolled prior to January 1st?

The numbers put out by the administration are that 80 percent of users should have no problems enrolling. The site is working with fewer error messages than experienced when the site launched in early October.

Still, people are leery of that 20 percent, how long will it take, will they be in the middle of enrollment only to experience a crash and have to start all over, or will that 20 percent ratio be cleared up?

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, while not using the words “all clear,” has urged a wary public to come and use the site.

Another issue plaguing this site is the amount of users able to log in at once. The number was set by the Obama administration stating that 50,000 users would be able to use the site without interruption - but what if there are more?

A headline in Kaiser Health News summed up the administration’s comments this way: “Consumers Urged To Give Healthcare.gov Another Try – Just Not Too Many Of Them.”

The problem is that with the hold up of the site being available to users wanting to sign up before January 1st, there is a backlog, and the numbers could well add up to more than 50,000 at a time. Will the site hold up then?

Luckily the March 31 enrollment window is far enough out to ensure that all of those that want to be enrolled can eventually be successful.

For those who have trouble enrolling online, the Obama administration is seeking to ramp up a new alternative: making it easier for people to sign up directly with insurance firms offering coverage in their area.

On a positive note, with today as the self-imposed deadline - according to the administration, the ObamaCare website "performed well" with reduced wait times, improved response times and less errors.

By Monday, the White House states it's made enough upgrades in software and hardware over the past month, to ensure that the site should have no problem handling more than 800,000 visitors per day.

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