NY Health Department Says Health Marketplace Glitches Have Improved

11:46 PM, Oct 4, 2013   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Though the government shutdown over defunding Obamacare isn't improving in Washington, the New York Health Department says new online marketplace to buy the health insurance is.

When President Obama's health law took effect on Tuesday, the federal exchange website experienced malfunctions, long waits and crashes.

But on Friday, the New York State Department of Health reassured citizens that the site has improved, and thousands of New York citizens are shopping online for "quality, low-cost health insurance plans."

"Extensive enhancements completed since the Oct. 1 launch of the NY State of Health marketplace have dramatically improved the site's performance," the department stated in a press release.

Since Oct. 1, nearly 65,500 New York residents have visited and actively shopped for health insurance, according to the press release.

Healthcare.gov, which opened to the public at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, handles exchanges for 34 states. It had 6.1 million visitors nationwide by Wednesday afternoon.

The new online health exchanges didn't expect the overwhelming number of insurance customers so quickly.
"The government shutdown that started Tuesday at midnight brought unexpected publicity to the new exchanges, adding more volume to the site," Jay Angoff, former head of insurance implementation at the Department of Health and Human Services, told USA Today.

The New York State Department of Health said it's now able to assist customers.

"Each night since the launch, servers have been added to enhance capacity, and software upgrades to improve performance have been completed, which have resulted in significant increases in processing speed," the New York State press release stated.

New York's customer service center operators have provided assistance to nearly 14,000 callers from throughout the state.  Technicians are monitoring the site and addressing issues on a 24-hour basis, according to the press release.

The State is continuing to complete daily performance improvements to the site.

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