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Federal Data Crash Hits Access Health CT

Jason T. Poplin

Connecticut’s health care marketplace is back in business after problems caused by the failure of a federal data hub. The storm of controversy over the federal healthcare exchange has largely left state exchanges like Connecticut’s untouched. Until this weekend.

When people sign up for health insurance plans on the state exchange, Access Health CT, the website has to connect through a central hub to federal resources like the IRS to validate some of the personal and financial information that’s provided. This Sunday, that federal data hub failed, leaving Connecticut and the other state exchanges stranded.

People could still browse the Access Health CT site to check out plans, but they were unable to actually enroll because of the national data outage. Exchange spokesman Jason Madrak said there were 4,307 visitors to the website yesterday who could potentially have been affected. "Given that it happened on a Sunday," he said, "it was a relatively small amount. Obviously, it’s back up and running as of seven o’clock this morning, which is excellent news given that Mondays tend to be one of the busier days of the week."

The federal data hub is run for the Department of Health and Human Services by communications giant Verizon. It said it encountered a networking issue Sunday, and efforts to fix that are what crashed the site.

Harriet Jones is Managing Editor for Connecticut Public Radio, overseeing the coverage of daily stories from our busy newsroom.

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