Another Outage on Healthcare.gov


If you’re struggling to apply for Obamacare, be aware there was another outage on the Healthcare.gov website.  One of the most important parts of the federal health insurance website went down during the evening on Tuesday, October 29th and it’s making it impossible to complete an application on the federal website.

The latest problem popped up as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius faced tough questions from anti-Obamacare members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. She apologized, and said, “Hold me responsible this debacle.”  She said she was “as frustrated and angry as anyone with the flawed launch of HealthCare.gov.”

Sebelius blamed the latest problem on Telemark, the contractor that’s owned by Verizon.  Apparently there was a “switch failure” on the data hub, the same portion of the site that went down on Sunday.

In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Julie Bataille, the spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said some repairs were made on the data hub and as of 5 a.m. Wednesday, it was working partially but slowly.  This is a critical part of the online system because it’s the section of the site that provides information about eligibility and qualifications for subsidies. The latest fix allows states to use the system to process applications that are made on their marketplace websites. But the outage continues to affect the federal website Healthcare.gov. So this is yet another frustrating roadblock for you if try to use the site because you can’t get very far with your application.

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Bataille was asked if it wouldn’t be a good idea to redesign the overall website to make it simpler and easier to use. But she deflected the question and repeated the Obama administration’s assertions that tech specialists working on the site should have significant improvements in place by the end of November.

She said, “We are confident that consumers who are seeking coverage beginning January 1, 2014, will be able to enroll by December 15th. She also reminded everyone that the open enrollment period goes on until March 15th, 2014.

 

 

 

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created ConsumerMojo.com to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.