The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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November 16, 2013

1 in 5 out of luck by Nov. 30?


The new performance measures address how easily consumers should be able to progress through the website. But there are still no concrete goals for the site’s accuracy, including whether users are correctly informed if they are eligible for federal help in paying for health plans or whether insurance companies are given correct information about their new customers.

Bataille, the Medicare and Medicaid center communications director, said that focusing on improving the system’s performance “will make a difference for consumer experience and accuracy of transactions.”

Administration officials have talked publicly in recent days about one of the measures: a reduction in errors that freeze Web pages or otherwise hinder the ability to sign up for insurance. They have said the error rate has dropped from up to 6 percent a week ago to less than one percent now.

“That is something we need to continue to drive lower,” Bataille said. “We need to have lower error rates. We need to have a fast site.”

On the other measure — which assesses how quickly people can move through any part of — one official said that the website has performed close to the 500 millisecond goal on most days.

But the current load on the system is light because many people are staying away in the wake of the rollout problems. Even then, the official said, “swings from good performance to bad performance have been frequent.”

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