Health Connector Website Update, By The Numbers

Confidence: That's the mantra among state and private contractors working to replace the Health Connector website that failed so spectacularly last year.

Today, just over a month before the new site is set to go live, Gov. Deval Patrick's special assistant, Maydad Cohen, will update the Connector board, using numbers to bolster confidence that the roll-out will go smoothly. Speaking of numbers...

91.5 percent — the current rate of site tests that end successfully — a hypothetical member enrolls.

12,671 — the number of concurrent users the new site will be ready to handle (or 46,036 per hour). "Concurrent," in IT terms, means the number of people who could push a button on the site, triggering some kind of action, at the same time. Website managers say this is double the capacity they expect to need. They are aiming for "overkill."

74,000 — the number of people who can browse the site (but not all clicking buttons at once) at any given time. This is double the 37,000 who visited the failed site last year on its opening day.

Under 3 seconds — the maximum time website managers say users will have to wait for a response after clicking to a new page.

2 — the number of backup servers, one in Minnesota and another in New Jersey.

680 — the number of call center reps who will be available for the three months of open enrollment (Nov. 15 through Feb. 15, 2015). That's 480 more reps than last year.

306,000 — the latest number of Massachusetts residents enrolled in temporary coverage. Will all these people need to get coverage through the state? No one knows, because there's been no way to process their eligibility this year. But the total number of people trying to use the site during the three months of open enrollment could be around...

450,000 — which is 306,000 + the 100,000 or so people who are still in subsidized Commonwealth Care plans and another 33,000 or so residents who buy insurance through the Connector.

Closing The Books

The website has been a very expensive failure. Just how expensive is in dispute. But the Patrick administration has resolved some of the outstanding financial issues:

$102 million — After months of negotiations, this is how much the state will pay Optum for 2014 and 2015. Optum is the IT firm that worked to fix the old site and then advised switching to its affiliate, hCentive, to build a new one.

$80 million — the amount of additional money the federal government has agreed can be spent on the new health insurance website. The state's share is $26 million. The feds will pay $54 million.

$254 million — the state's estimated cost of the old and new site — though some critics claim the total is much higher.

Unknown — exactly how much the federal government will contribute toward the total cost of insuring everyone through temporary or subsidized coverage this year. Patrick says the state's share will be in line with the expected expense of expanding coverage for the uninsured. Critics say there's no way.

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Martha Bebinger Reporter
Martha Bebinger covers health care and other general assignments for WBUR.



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