Networking problems cause Obamacare application tool to malfunction

Posted at 11:44 AM, Oct 28, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-28 13:06:37-04

(WTVR/CNN) – Americans applying for health insurance via the Obamacare website were unable to do so because of a networking malfunction.

Joanne Peters, a spokesperson with the Department of Health and Human Services, told CNN that a vendor networking issue at Terremark, a Verizon subsidiary, was to blame.  Peters said Terremark “experienced a failure in a networking component.”  They tried to fix the problem, but it ended up crashing the system.

Verizon spokesperson Jeff Nelson said they are working to fix the issue as quickly as possible.

This malfunction impacted the “Data Services Hub,” which connects the website to IRS and other databases used to determine eligibility. On Saturday, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius touted the “hub” as one of the Obamacare technologies that was working.

Some state-based exchanges were also affected by the glitch.  Connecticut insurance marketplace spokesperson told CNN that some of their customers had trouble signing up.  14 states and D.C. set up their own exchanges and escaped most of the major problems.

The outage was the latest problem that hit the Obamacare website.  Some users haven’t been able to sign up for health care coverage since it debuted on Oct. 1.

In a speech last week, President Obama said his teams were “working out the kinks in the system.”  Former White House budget official Jeffrey Zients was appointed to oversee the repairs.  Zients said the website should be functioning properly for a majority of users next month.