The White House says the HealthCare.gov website is steadily improving but that visitors can expect delays even after its self-imposed Dec. 1 deadline, The Hill reported
"The system will not work perfectly on Dec. 1, but it will work much better than it did in October," said Julie Bataille, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman.
Administration officials say HealthCare.gov continues a "work in progress," according to The Hill.
The site went down unexpectedly for an hour on Monday.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, "We continue to be on track to meeting the goals that we established for ourselves and established for the website on Nov. 30," according to The Hill.
Jeff Zients, who is in charge of bringing the site up to speed, says that anyone who needs to sign up for insurance to begin on Jan. 1 — including those whose old health coverage is being canceled — will be able to do so provided they buy their plans by Dec. 23 and pay their premiums by Dec. 31, according to The Hill
The site is implementing a "queuing" system to avoid overload. During periods of peak traffic, users can opt either to wait for the site or receive an email when volume drops.
By the end of the month, the site should be able to meet a missed milestone of processing 50,000 simultaneous users.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reported
, there were problems with site's identification-verification procedures intended to prevent fraud and to confirm an enrollee's eligibility for chosen health coverage. Some people who upload documents do not hear back and are left in limbo.
Complicating processing, visitors to the site can be required to answer questions based on information in their credit reports. However, many younger applicants and those with low incomes do not have much of a credit history, according to the Times.
Insurers remain concerned that defects in the system are still holding back consumers seeking health coverage, The Washington Post reported
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