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Important Healthcare Signup Policy

Important Healthcare Signup Policy

Healthcare.gov to Shut Down for Maintenance During Parts of Enrollment Period

There will be a shutdown of healthcare.gov, (the website consumers use to sign up for the Affordable Care Act), for 12 hours on nearly every Sunday of the coming ACA enrollment season.

The outages, which the administration says are for maintenance, will occur from midnight through noon on every Sunday other than Dec. 10. This year’s enrollment season, which the administration has shortened to half the length of previous years, will run from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15 for states that use the federal marketplace.

Federal health officials first announced the schedule during an online webinar with community groups that help people sign up for ACA plans. A statement from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers the ACA, said the shutdowns are needed to perform website maintenance. An agency spokeswoman, Nicole Black, said the schedule is being provided in advance this year as a heads-up for enrollment assistants.

Maintenance outages are regularly scheduled on HealthCare.gov every year during open enrollment. This year is no different.

But critics noted that the outages are scheduled on weekends, which they said is when consumers most often find time to browse for health plans. Thirty-eight states use the federal website, which saw more than nine million sign-ups in 2016.

Original Source: WSJ

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