Obamacare website back up ahead of schedule after maintenance

NEW YORK Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:51am EST

A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this October 2, 2013 photo illustration. REUTERS/Mike Segar

A man looks over the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare) signup page on the HealthCare.gov website in New York in this October 2, 2013 photo illustration.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - The troubled federal website used by Americans to shop for health insurance as part of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul was back up and running on Sunday after planned maintenance overnight took less time than planned, government officials said.

Healthcare.gov underwent what officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the agency running the healthcare overhaul, called "extended maintenance" beginning at midnight Saturday EST. The work was scheduled to last through approximately noon on Sunday, during which time people in the 36 states served by HealthCare.gov could not fill out applications or enroll in a health insurance plan.

The site was instead up and running at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, CMS said in a statement.

The downtime affected not only customers in the 36 states but also those in the 14 states and District of Columbia running their own insurance marketplaces.

In addition to the marketplace where people shop for and enroll in a health plans, the federal data services hub was unavailable. The hub determines whether people are eligible for subsidies to defray the cost of insurance, regardless of what state they live in.

Since its disastrous rollout on October 1, HealthCare.gov has undergone both planned and unplanned downtime and outages as contractors have scrambled to repair the botched software. Since late November, it has functioned much more smoothly.

(Reporting by Sharon Begley; Editing by Bill Trott)

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Comments (23)
cfulbright wrote:
ALL planned maintenance takes less than the amount of time allocated. Look at any commercial website like salesforce.com. They always announce a much longer outage period, just so they can meet their service level agreements. This is a non-story written by someone with no experience in the web technology world.

Dec 15, 2013 11:03am EST  --  Report as abuse
EdRies wrote:
Reuters is clearly desperate for some good news about Obamascare. Loading a revised software version takes only minutes – not twelve hours. There are multiple reasons why the session ended early – not all of them good. Since none of their managers has the slightest experience in major system development or rollout, it is doubtful that adequate testing after install took place.

Dec 15, 2013 11:34am EST  --  Report as abuse
Actually I was just on the website today and it is not operational. The prompts are all gibberish and it is not very clear what they are saying and I am pretty familiar with what they are asking.

The author should have actually gone on the site to check. I have used both Internet Explorer and Firefox and even used a less used laptop that did not have the last upgrade to Internet Explorer and still the same gibberish.

Dec 15, 2013 11:45am EST  --  Report as abuse
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