Three things we learned from today’s Obamacare update

November 27, 2013

Every day, usually about 2 p.m. or so, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services hosts a half-hour-long call on the status of the insurance marketplace. Now, every day, we here at Wonkblog will update you on what the federal government told us about how Obamacare is going. Without further ado, here is what we learned today!

(Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)
(Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters)

The SHOP delay is all about setting priorities. The biggest discussion point on today's update was, unsurprisingly, the Obama administration's decision to delay online enrollment through the small business exchange. Instead, companies will have to work with a broker or agent, as they traditionally have in the past.

Medicare spokeswoman Julie Bataille described the decision to hold off on that part of the health-care law as one of prioritizing what really needs to get done to best serve consumers.

"What's important in our work is to continue to prioritize the best consumer experience for those who are coming to us online," she said. "These decisions all reflect the reality that, as we make improvements on the front and back end, it is an effort to make sure the system continues to work well for the vast majority of users by the end of the month."

Our next Obamacare update will be Saturday. The Medicare press office will not hold these regular update calls Thursday and Friday allowing "all of you to enjoy part of your holiday weekend," Bataille told reporters. There will be an update Saturday, which is the last day of November.

One key goal: Getting the Web site to handle 50,000 concurrent users by Dec. 1. This is a data point that Bataille has brought up on multiple calls as a crucial goal for the Obama administration.

"On December 1, [the site] will be able to handle 50,000 users at the same time," Bataille said. As to how many users the Web site can handle right now, Bataille cited a 25,000 concurrent user figure that she has brought up on previous press update calls. Bataille said that work will continue over this week to ensure that HealthCare.gov can meet that goal by Saturday.

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