"One Million People Visited HealthCare.Gov On Monday"
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), one million people were able to access HealthCare.gov on Monday, the site’s first day of full operation following a recent push to fix its glitches. On Tuesday, HealthCare.gov logged 950,000 visitors. Administration officials had estimated that the site would be able to host 800,000 people over the course of one day, but it appears to have the capacity to surpass that benchmark.
HealthCare.gov — the website intended to allow Americans to enroll in coverage in Obamacare’s new insurance exchanges — has been plagued with technological issues ever since it first launched at the beginning of October. But now that a team of experts have completed a series of fixes intended to stabilize the site, administration officials are cautiously optimistic that it’s up and running again.
“Do not let the initial problems with the website discourage you, because it’s working better now, and it’s just going to keep working better over time,” President Obama said on Tuesday.
By 6 pm on Monday, the site had processed 18,000 enrollments over the past 24-hour period. That’s nearly twice as many enrollments as HealthCare.gov’s previous record during that time window.
It’s not flawless. There are still some issues with the site’s back end, and heavy traffic has forced some users to wait in a queue before proceeding with the application process. Julie Bataille, CMS’ communication director, indicated that officials are reaching out to people who may be stuck to help them complete their enrollment. Americans have until December 23 to enroll in coverage that will begin on the first day of 2014.
Despite the Obamacare exchanges’ rocky roll-out process, another major provision of the health reform law is running more smoothly. Under the law’s Medicaid expansion, an additional 1.5 million low-income Americans now have access to public health insurance. As expected, Medicaid enrollments are outpacing the enrollments on the health insurance exchanges.
11:25 am: Politico reports that about 29,000 people signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov on Sunday and Monday, according to an official familiar with the program. That’s more than the number of people who signed up during the entire first month of the website’s troubled launch. About 26,000 people enrolled in October, while about 100,000 enrolled in November.