Health

HealthCare.gov’s Early Flaws Revealed, 1 Glitch Fixed, Blame the Contractors and Other News

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The rocky rollout of HealthCare.gov, the website for people to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, has garnered a lot of attention from the media as well as technology analysts. Here's our daily roundup of some of the key reports you may have missed:

What Went Wrong? HealthCare.gov’s early problems were a combination of not enough server capacity to handle the volume of people seeking insurance through the site and glitches in the site itself that prevented people from registering and enrolling in insurance plans, Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the Centers for Medicare or Medicaid Services, told lawmakers on Tuesday. The server capacity problems have been fixed but numerous glitches remain, she said.

Blame the Contractors: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius lays some of the blame for the failed HealthCare.gov launch on contractors in prepared testimony for a Wednesday hearing. "CMS has a track record of successfully overseeing the many contractors our programs depend on to function. Unfortunately, a subset of those contracts for HealthCare.gov have not met expectations," Sebelius says.

One Security Glitch Fixed: The government has fixed what it called a “theoretical vulnerability” in HealthCare.gov’s password-reset process, Time reports. The site used to send password reset codes to registered users who were changing their passwords. The code could be viewed in the browsers’ developer tools and used to obtain the email address associated with the HealthCare.gov account, as well as which security questions the account-holder answered.

Enrollment Numbers Coming in Mid-November: CMS Director Tavenner declined to say how many people have enrolled in insurance plans through the online marketplace so far. The administration plans to release those figures in mid-November, she said, without indicating whether the marketplace is on track to have enough enrollees to make the president’s larger health care reform law cost effective.

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The Recovery Board executive staff will discuss how they managed to build an effective goverment website at Nextgov Prime on Nov. 20. (Registration is free!)

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