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Obamacare enrollment numbers unknown in NY

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- Unlike some other states, officials in New York say it is still too soon to say how many residents have signed up for the new federal health insurance program being administered here by the state Health Department.

The program kicked in on Tuesday and the health department's information and enrollment web page kept crashing throughout the first day and into Wednesday. Officials blamed a larger-than-expected number of hits by web users, and was not caused by any sort of intentional effort to sabotage the system.

The health department said it is gathering enrollment information, but did not release any numbers. On Thursday afternoon, the health department released this statement from Donna Frescatore, executive director of NY State of Health, the insurance exchange entity overseeing the new program in New York:

"Each day since its launch on Oct. 1, the online NY State of Health marketplace has been enhanced to provide better and smoother access for thousands of individuals and small business owners across New York to select quality, low-cost health insurance plans. Since the launch, more than 44,000 people have visited and actively shopped on the site, which includes more than 11,000 as of 1pm today.

"The state's customer service center operators have provided information to and answered questions from nearly 10,500 New Yorkers. We are continuing to work to improve the site’s access and navigation to handle the heavy traffic we have seen and allow New Yorkers to easily get low-cost health insurance plans.

"Additional servers were added on Tuesday and Wednesday to enhance capacity, and software upgrades to enhance performance have been completed. Technicians monitor visits to the site 24/7 for quality control purposes, to identify issues and to inform performance improvement measures. There is no indication of any intentional efforts to overwhelm the site.”

 

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Albany | Andrew Cuomo
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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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