Health and Human Services (HHS) says that 1 million people visited the HealthCare.gov website on Monday. HHS spokeswoman Joanne Peters announced the news over Twitter on Tuesday.
High demand for quality, affordable health care with 1m visitors to http://t.co/FuYxsxqEJS on Monday alone. Site is stable.— Joanne Peters (@JoannePtrs) December 3, 2013
HHS didn’t respond to an email from The Hill about what average traffic looks like on a Monday, but the agency previously indicated that it was roughly double what it typically is. About 350,000 people had visited the site by noon on Monday, which Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille said was about twice the average. By 5:30 pm, the site had logged 750,000 visitors.
http://t.co/1MVLQtMu72 high volume – 750k visitors as of 5:30pm, no queuing now, site fast w/ low error rate.— HealthCare.gov (@HealthCareGov) December 2, 2013
The administration had said that it hoped the site could accommodate 800,000 in one day by Nov. 30, so hitting the 1 million mark with no major issues is encouraging news for the problem-plagued site.
However, the system still seemed shaky as early as Monday morning, just a day after the administration said it hit its self-imposed deadline.
When the site launched on Oct. 1, it was supposed to be able to handle 50,000 concurrent users, and HHS intended to hit that mark over the weekend.
But on Monday, a newly installed back-up system was deployed at a lower traffic rate than officials thought would be necessary. The site’s try-again-later system was initiated with roughly 35,000 users online.
The CMS was adamant that the queuing system only went live because technicians sought to “maximize a smooth user experience.”
Bataille said the queuing, which sends users to a holding page before allowing them to return to where they were, was not employed because the system was at risk of crashing. Rather, the agency said the decision to queue came after technicians noticed the loading time for pages had increased from one second to two seconds, and after the error rate ticked up slightly, though still below 1 percent.
HHS said the queuing system wasn’t implemented in the late afternoon or evening, when the site hit the 750,000 and 1 million marks.