Utah IT Expert Discusses Health Care Site Glitches

Oct 24, 2013

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act started on Oct. 1. HealthCare.gov, the website that allows users to sign up for insurance plans, has been dealing with some technical issues. Kevin Reeve, an IT representative for Utah State University, says one problem the site experienced was it received too many visitors at once. 

The new Obamacare homepage.
Credit HealthCare.gov

“I think there were a couple of issues,” Reeve said. “One is the site was not prepared for the amount of people that would try to access it in the very first day it went live. I think there was a lot of anticipation in people that wanted access to health care and were ready to go start exploring their options. So, I think that first day they just saw a huge amount of load that they didn’t anticipate.”

Within the first 24 hours of the site opening, the site had 2.8 million visitors.

Reeve said, “I think it was an anomaly it was just the first day and everybody wanted to go there.”

The problem wasn’t just the flood of visitors. Reeve said some people who could access the site weren’t happy with the layout of the webpage. 

“There were some other issues where people had to create an account first before they could go in and look at the plans,” Reeve said. “People just wanted to just explore options without having to go through the process of creating an account. So part of it was people just weren’t happy with the way that it was designed.”

Exact enrollment numbers are still unknown. So far, it’s estimated the site has been visited 20 million times, and about 500,000 people have applied for coverage.

Morgan Pratt is a sophomore at Utah State University seeking a degree in Journalism and Communications.