Obamacare Sites Still Swamped But Wait Times Cut

Thu, 10/03/2013 - 3:57pm
Katie Moisse

More than 7 million Americans have gone online since Tuesday to browse the Obamacare health insurance exchanges, prompting administrators to add servers and engineers to handle the Web traffic.

Another 295,000 people used federal health insurance exchange call centers and 167,000 have requested live Web chats, according to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesman Richard Olague.

"Experts are working around the clock and were able to expand system capacity somewhat overnight, cutting by one-third the volume of people waiting to apply," Olague said in a statement to, adding that call center wait times have also been cut in half since to roughly two minutes. "Work on the site continues today to meet the demand and excitement generated in just the first 48 hours of our open enrollment."

Although the marketplaces were spared from federal furloughs, a surge in Web traffic has been blamed for frustrating lags and error messages throughout the day. Americans trying to scope out their options at are instructed to "please wait" for the login page, which can take several minutes to appear.

"We have a lot of visitors on our site right now and we're working to make your experience here better," the site message reads. "Thanks for your patience!"

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