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Data center glitch latest to plague health care law

| Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

WASHINGTON — A data center critical for allowing uninsured Americans to buy health coverage under President Obama's health care law went down on Sunday, the government said, in the latest problem for the Affordable Care Act rollout.

Verizon's Terremark operates the data center behind a federal system for determining eligibility for government subsidies to buy insurance nationwide and hosts HealthCare.gov, the website that makes insurance available in 36 of the 50 states.

The data center experienced a failure on Sunday that led it to lose network connectivity, Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman Joanne Peters said.

Online insurance exchanges opened on Oct. 1 under the law to offer health insurance plans to millions of uninsured Americans. But technical glitches and delays have marred the rollout as would-be customers encounter error messages and long waits, often failing to make it through the system despite repeated tries.

“We are working with Terremark to get their timeline for addressing the issue,” Peters wrote in an email.

Peters said the newest glitch also affected a data services hub — an electronic traffic roundabout that connects numerous federal agencies and can verify people's identity, citizenship, and other facts.

Problems with the data services hub affect customers of both HealthCare.gov and the state-run exchanges.

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