New York State Health Insurance Website Overloaded

By Sarah Matheson, Epoch Times
October 1, 2013 Last Updated: October 1, 2013

NEW YORK—The New York State of Health website received an “overwhelming response” on the morning of Oct. 1 and returned error pages as late as 2 p.m.

Some 2 million people visited the website in the first hour after it began accepting enrollment applications for health insurance.

Marci Natale, deputy director of the public affairs group at New York State Department of Health, said the number of visitors had caused long wait times for some users, with some who had difficulty logging in.

“But our technicians are actively working to reconfigure the system to address these issues,” Natale said via email.

A search function to find an in-person assistant was not working all morning.

The New York State of Health call center was taking calls to help customers with the enrollment process.

Some pages intermittently returned errors as late as 2 p.m., including the page with information for individuals who want to enroll and the page providing information to employees that are covered through their employer.

“With a website providing so much data to so many people, we are working through these growing pains and are confident users will have better access to the site shortly,” Natale said.

Health insurance will be mandatory for all Americans under the Affordable Care Act beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. An estimated 1.1 million people in New York State are expected to enroll in health plans over the next three years through the website.

People without health insurance, may be subject to a fine from the IRS when they file taxes for 2014.