'Window shopping' no longer requires registration, Medicare chief says.
In a hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Marilyn Tavenner emphasized the improvements being made to the Obamacare enrollment website.
In her first appearance before the Senate since the Oct. 1 launch of HealthCare.gov, Tavenner is addressing the site's troubled rollout and the fixes underway to ensure it is running smoothly by the administration's goal of the end of November.
Here are some of the updates Tavenner outlined in her opening statement:
- Nearly 700,000 applications for coverage have been submitted, more than half in the federal marketplace alone.
- CMS is now able to process 17,000 registrants per hour, or five per second, with almost no errors.
- CMS added more capacity to the site, and doubled servers to meet demand.
- The viewing and filtering of health plans now responds in seconds, whereas it was taking minutes before.
- Eligibility notices display properly after the application is submitted.
- Consumers can now view and browse plans without registering an account.
- Wait time for site pages to load are now less than one second, whereas they were previously averaging eight seconds.
- The data hub is sending determination through the marketplace in less than 1.2 seconds.
- CMS has been working with issuers, and all necessary consumer information will now be sent to issuers after they have enrolled.
- The Social Security Administration has reported 4.2 million transactions with the data hub.
- The IRS has responded to 1.3 million requests for data, such as family size and income.
"We are pleased with the quick improvements and the parts of the site that are already working well," Tavenner said.