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U.S. Obamacare data hub 'experiencing an outage', Connecticut says

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
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

WASHINGTON (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 such 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.

An official at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) acknowledged the Obamacare website had been impacted by the problem.

"Tonight, Verizon Terremark again experienced network issues in their data center that caused a system outage impacting the federal data services hub and the Healthcare.gov marketplace application," the official, who asked not to be named, said in an email to Reuters.

"Verizon Terremark is conducting maintenance overnight to resolve their issue with our technical team and when that is complete we will bring our systems back online," the official said.

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.

"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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