HealthCare.gov experiences another outage

The Monday crash comes days before a government deadline to have the site largely fixed

Parts of HealthCare.gov, the two-month-old insurance-shopping website run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, crashed for about an hour Monday, just days before agency officials say the site will be running smoothly for the "vast majority" of users.

The site, a key part of 2010's Affordable Care Act insurance reform legislation, also experienced "periods of latency and slowness" Sunday, said Julie Bataille, communications director for the HHS Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Government officials, including HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and President Barack Obama, have promised that the site, which allows uninsured U.S. residents to shop for and compare health coverage, would be working well for the majority of people by the end of this month.

The outage in the insurance application and enrollment tools on the website Monday was due to "parts of the system not communicating effectively on the back end," Bataille said during a press briefing. The federal data-services hub portion of the website, where health insurers are linked to federal agencies to determine an applicant's eligibility for insurance, remained in operation during the outage of the other parts of the site, she said.

Bataille repeated the HHS message that the site may not work perfectly on Dec. 1. "As we've said before, it is likely that as we move forward we'll find additional glitches and experience intermittent periods of suboptimal performance," she said.

A tech team working on fixing the website, troubled with crashes and slow response times since its Oct. 1 launch, is working around the clock to meet the Nov. 30 deadline, Bataille said. Call center workers helping people enroll in insurance coverage will not work Thursday, the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S., she said.

The tech team made several software fixes focused on improving user experience and the coverage enrollment process, Bataille said. The team also added storage capacity in a CMS data center, she said.

"As we move forward, the vast majority of users will not experience the slow response times, error messages and system outages that characterized their experience in October," Bataille said.

The goal of the Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, is to allow U.S. residents without health insurance coverage to purchase inexpensive plans through the site or by other means.

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 governmentinternetBarack Obamaindustry verticalshealth careGovernment use of ITU.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesKathleen SebeliusHealthcare.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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

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

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?