A series of hardware and software fixes to the HealthCare.gov website have new online insurance marketplaces running remarkably better, The New York Times reports. The online exchange, which currently serves 36 states, has not only run without crashing since improvements were implemented earlier this month, but also has made it possible for customers and navigators to enroll in plans in as little as 30 minutes. About 112,000 people signed up in the first week of December, a major improvement compared with about 100,000 enrollments in the entire month of November and only 27,000 in October. Policy experts believe getting the site to function properly is key to getting people to enroll under the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. the health care reform law, or ACA) before December 23, which is the deadline to receive insurance coverage by January 1, 2014.

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