HealthCare.gov deploys new queuing feature on busy Monday

The website launches a new user queue after performance lags with about 35,000 users

HealthCare.gov, the U.S. government's insurance-shopping website, had to deploy a user queuing feature Monday because of heavy traffic, just days after the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the troubled site was working well for a majority of users.

HHS officials announced Sunday that the tech team working on the site had met its deadline of having HealthCare.gov function well for a majority of users, and the site was able to handle 50,000 concurrent users. But the site's team decided to launch the queuing feature about 10 a.m. Monday EST, with about 35,000 concurrent users, said Julie Bataille, communications director for the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Page response time for the site was about two seconds at the time the team launched the queuing system, Bataille said, when page response time has generally been below one second in recent weeks. Page error rates were around .9 percent at the time, when the error rate has been in the .75 range in recent weeks, she said.

The site's team launched the queuing feature "in order to manage demand and ensure a smooth user experience for users in the system," Bataille said. The decision to launch the queuing feature "was the team's determine in real time of what needed to occur in order to ensure the optimal user experience."

Bataille said she couldn't give an average wait time in the queue because it fluctuates with website use.

The queuing system, announced by CMS last month, is meant to give users educational information about insurance plans while they wait or send them email messages advising a better time to come back to the site.

Between midnight and noon Eastern Time, HealthCare.gov had gotten about 375,000 visitors, about double the traffic during a typical Monday during those hours, Bataille said. HHS officials said they expect the site to handle about 800,000 visitors a day after recent fixes.

HealthCare.gov Monday rolled out an improved window-shopping feature that gives users more detailed information about insurance plans they're considering, including what hospitals and doctors are in the plans' networks, Bataille said.

The tech team working the site has also found and fixed a bug that was causing incorrect customer information to be sent on the site's back end to insurers, Bataille said. The majority of the 834 EDI transmission errors should now be fixed, she said.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentinternetindustry verticalshealth careGovernment use of ITU.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesHealthcare.govJulie Bataille

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?