HealthCare.gov on Monday seemed to be handling the last-minute rush of enrollees signing up for insurance that will be effective Jan. 1 with only minor glitches rather than the major problems it saw last year, site watchers said.
“The navigators in Montana are saying that their folks have been seeing a lot of online messages to come back later,” said Ferris Taylor, the chief strategy officer of Utah co-op Arches Health Plan. “In addition, some people with problems are being told by the HealthCare.gov call center to sign out, close down their computer and then sign back in.”
Shaun Greene, chief operating officer at Arches, said “We are noticing that the time it takes one to clear HealthCare.gov is getting longer, this morning, probably 30 minutes to clear, now probably two hours.”
The delay is occurring after consumers apply on Arches' website and go to HealthCare.gov to complete the process regarding subsidy eligibility, Greene said.
Reports of higher traffic Monday were common. Monday is the last day to sign up for coverage that would go into effect Jan. 1. The final overall signup day is Feb. 15.
In addition to Arches executives, Web-based broker Stride Health is seeing much-increased traffic, said CEO Noah Lang in an interview. Its mobile app saw its highest premium purchase yet recorded Sunday night with a customer buying a plan with a nearly $16,000 annual premium.
HealthCare.gov has been engineered to deal with 250,000 users at one time, and was a focus of the tech team overhauling the website prior to the start of open enrollment this year. The hope was that a switch to cloud provider Amazon Web Services would allow the website to accommodate more users.
Roughly 432,000 people per day used the site between Nov. 29 and Dec. 5, according to the latest data from the CMS. Approximately 2.5 million applications have been submitted through Dec. 5.
Follow Darius Tahir on Twitter: @dariustahir