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Obamacare data hub works for some states, but website is slow

Wednesday, 30 Oct 2013 | 2:25 PM ET

Oct 30 (Reuters) - The federal data hub was operating again for the 14 state exchanges on Wednesday after the second outage this week in the data center where it is based, restoring a key link used to enroll Americans in the new health insurance exchanges, a government official said on Wednesday.

HealthCare.gov, the federal website where residents of the other 36 states can buy the new plans, was not fully functional after the outage, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille said at a news briefing.

The outage at the Verizon Terremark data center that houses the data hub as well as HealthCare.gov began on Tuesday evening, she said. As of 5 a.m. the hub was working for state-run exchanges but overall was working slowly, she said. It was the second outage this week at the Terremark data center and Bataille said it also affected non-government customers.

Both the federal exchange and exchanges built by the other 14 states and Washington, D.C., depend on the data hub to verify eligibility information before they allow residents to enroll in the new plans, created under the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare reform law.

The data center also failed Sunday and was brought back up by Monday morning.

HealthCare.gov has been plagued by technology issues since its Oct. 1 launch. It is not known yet how many people have enrolled in the new health plans, but interest has been high, with tens of millions of people trying to shop in the federal and state-based exchanges.