Website Plagued With Design and Software Problems

Posted Oct 7, 2013

When the website went offline, it was largely due to design and software problems.  This has been preventing customers from being able to apply for healthcare coverage.  Last week, the Obama administration blamed the downtime on the surge of web traffic because of the high demand of users wanting to buy new coverage.


Yesterday, federal officials said that the online marketplace needed design changes and server capacity so that the efficiency is improved.  The federally run healthcare coverage exchange serves 36 states.

“We can do better and we are working around the clock to do so,” stated Joanne Peters, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services as quoted by the WSJ.

The website has coding problems and flaws in the system’s architecture, according to technical experts and insurance-industry advisers.  One of the problems is the ability to confirm the identities of enrollees.  As users try to create an account, it crashes.  Experian PLC has a federal subcontract to support this system.

Media Temple, a web hosting company, said that they found stray software code that does not serve any purposes.  Media Temple also pointed out that basic web efficiency techniques were not used, such as saving parts of the website that change infrequently so that it loads faster. received 9 million unique visitors on Friday night alone. supports 36 states, while the other 14 states and the District of Columbia have their own systems.  There are around 30 million uninsured people that live in the states, which will be served by the federal marketplace.

Related Articles:
– President Obama Compares Online Healthcare Exchange Downtime To iOS 7

– Obama Administration Launches Health Insurance Marketplace At