"The bottom line: HealthCare.gov on Dec. 1 is night and day from where it was on Oct. 1," Jeff Zients, the management expert steering the repair mission, told reporters Sunday morning.The front end seems to be working much more smoothly for would-be customers, but the backend operation that transmits the information to insurers is still problematic, and insurers report a raft of errors and problems from not having applications transmitted to them at all to getting duplicates. For insurers and for consumers the major issue is whether enrollments happening at the front end get transmitted to insurers, and right now that's not happening consistently.
The site is now functioning more than 90 percent of the time—up dramatically from an average of just 43 percent of the time in October, Zients said. If the site is slow, consumers will be logged into a "queue" that did not exist on Oct. 1, a sort of cyber waiting room. They’ll be notified when they can try again.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said in its progress report that it had repaired more than 400 items on its "punch list" of bugs and needed fixes, including enlarged capacity and greater stability. The agency said it had reduced response times from eight seconds in late October to less than one second and that error rates are less than 1 percent—but those specific improvements it had reported earlier.
That has to be fixed in a month's time, before people start going to doctors and filing claims with insurance companies that don't know they're supposed to be covering them.