CGI wanted help weeks ago

(AP file photo) (AP file photo)

CGI Federal, a contractor, reported Oct. 11 that it needed more tools to figure out what was wrong with the site.

Employees discuss their troubleshooting efforts in a copy of a proprietary document posted by the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Users have had trouble setting up accounts, logging in and actually shopping for and enrolling in coverage.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have said the system was overloaded in the beginning and that they’ve added computing capacity and created a punch list of dozens of items in need of fixing, but they have released little information about the punch list.

In the Oct. 11 document, the CGI workers said the project review team included CMS engineers and reps from the hosting company.

The team analyzed sessions and applications and found no “smoking guns.”

Some of the specific problems that did turn up included “long running queries” and “slow performing services,” CGI employees said.

When CGI analyzed where users were stalling, they found 26 percent got hung up on the “Review, Sign and Submit” screens; 23 percent at the identity proofing stage; and 5 percent at the immigration document collection stage. 

The CGI workers also observed that the system was having trouble with getting correct answers for about half of the financial assistance eligibility determinations.

“Some issues would be resolved simply by having the user log back into the system and do not require data clean-up but may require an outreach strategy instead,” the CGI workers said.

Enrollment counts seemed to be slow, but the CGI workers said they were “unable to determine at this time whether low enrollment counts are attributable to system issues or due to users choosing not to select/enroll in a plan.”

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