Health insurance exchange website encounters problems
New York’s health insurance exchange has begun open enrollment on schedule, but the exchange’s website has been experiencing some technical difficulties. The site is meant to serve as the face for the exchange and functions as the marketplace through which state residents can purchase health insurance policies. The site is quite similar to those that exist in other states, but New York officials have found that there are some glitches that escaped discovery when the site was being tested last month.
Site upgraded to handle massive traffic
The New York health insurance exchange website was brought down earlier this week in order to upgrade its hosting servers and resolve some glitches that prevented access to certain sections of the site. The site was brought back online on Wednesday and officials have expressed confidence that the problems that many people had experienced earlier in the week have been put to rest. One of the problems had to do with the large amount of traffic the site received in a short amount of time. When the site was officially launched on October 1, it received more than 10 million unique visitors, but only 9,000 of these visitors were actually able to shop for health insurance.
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Site’s issues expected to be resolved by end of month
While the site’s servers have been upgraded, state officials have not revealed how much traffic the site can actually handle at any given time. Whatever problems may persist are expected to resolved before the end of the month. The health insurance exchange’s open enrollment period will run through March 31, giving consumers plenty of time to purchase coverage. Health insurance coverage will not become mandatory by federal law until January 1, 2014.
Government shutdown will not affect exchanges
The federal government is currently in a state of partial shutdown due to legislative inaction concerning funding the government. While this has affected many federal agencies and has placed hundreds of thousands of government employees on furlough, the Affordable Care Act has not been affected. The federal law will be implemented as planned through 2014 and health insurance exchanges will sell policies to consumers as intended.