CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Connecticut says U.S. Obamacare data hub 'experiencing an outage'

Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:44pm EDT

(Corrects 2nd paragraph to make clear Verizon is the operator of the data hub, not the exchange)

WASHINGTON Oct 29 (Reuters) - The U.S. government's Obamacare data hub was 'experiencing an outage' on Tuesday evening, the Connecticut state healthcare exchange, "Access Health CT", announced. It was the second outage in three days.

The data hub operator, Verizon, said it was doing maintenance on the system.

"Access Health CT was informed by CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) that the Federal Data Services Hub is currently experiencing an outage," a statement from the Connecticut state exchange said.

A similar outage on Sunday halted online enrollment on the federal Healthcare.gov website as well as similar state sites.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) declined comment on the development, and referred calls to Verizon.

Verizon's Terremark operates the data services hub that links online health insurance marketplaces with numerous federal agencies and can verify people's identity, citizenship, and other facts.

"We are now undertaking infrastructure maintenance, which should be complete overnight. We anticipate the strengthened infrastructure will help eliminate application downtimes," said a statement by Jeff Nelson, vice president of global corporate communications at Verizon Enterprise Solutions.

He said the maintenance had been undertaken at the request of an HHS official, but did not name the person.

"Verizon is committed to supporting our HHS client and stabilizing their www.healthcare.gov website. Since HHS asked us to provide additional compute and storage capacity, our engineers have worked 24/7 to trouble-shoot issues with the site," the statement said. (Reporting By Susan Cornwell; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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