Technical problems with the federally facilitated health insurance exchange
were caused by a specific software component that crashed under the high
volume of visitors last week, preventing users from creating accounts in the
beginning stages of the enrollment process, a federal official confirmed to
CNN on Tuesday.
"At lower volumes, this software component would work fine, and at higher
volume, that's what created the problems," the official said. "We've made
software changes to make the system more efficient and be able to handle
For more than a week, visitors to Healthcare.gov have experienced slow
connection speeds and error messages preventing them from purchasing
insurance. The Department of Health and Human Services has been taking down
parts of the site during off-peak hours, and officials say that adding more
server capacity; moving certain over-stressed components to dedicated
hardware; and making software changes to increase efficiency have improved the
On Monday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Comedy Central's Jon Stewart
that despite the hiccups, hundreds of thousands of consumers have created
accounts on the federal site, but the government won't announce how many of
those users have actually purchased insurance until next month.
The government has been assisted in ...