Software, design defects cripple health care website

Software, design defects cripple health care website

Six days into the launch of insurance marketplaces created by the new health-care law, the federal government acknowledged for the first time Sunday it needed to fix design and software problems that have kept customers from applying online for coverage.

The Obama administration said last week that an unanticipated surge of Web traffic caused most of the problems and was a sign of high demand by people seeking to buy coverage under the new law.

But federal officials said Sunday the online marketplace needed design changes, as well as more server capacity to improve efficiency on the federally run exchange that serves 36 states.

“We can do better and we are working around the clock to do so,” said Joanne Peters, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services. The government is making software and hardware changes to smooth the process of creating accounts needed to gain access to the marketplace, federal officials said.

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