State health insurance marketplaces were unable to enroll new customers this weekend after the Federal Data Services Hub went down Sunday because of a network failure at Verizon Terremark, the company that operates the data site.
The Federal Data Services Hub is a database of U.S. residents who use a variety of data resources, including employment, health, criminal and property records to verify a person’s citizenship status to be used to determine rates as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Without access to the database, state exchanges could not enroll users in the program. It is the first time the federal government’s problems surrounding healthcare.gov and the ACA rollout directly halted state activity.
The outage that started in the early hours of Sunday caused the data center to lose network connectivity with the federal government’s data services hub. It was fixed Monday morning, according to multiple media reports.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is due to testify later this week before a House of Representatives committee, while government contractors work to improve the Healthcare.gov website.
Contractors have already blamed the administration for not conducting enough vital systemwide testing and for a last-minute design change requiring online visitors to set up accounts before window-shopping for insurance. The change is widely blamed for creating early bottlenecks as millions of people flooded the website.