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      Security concerns over health insurance website prompt Health Department statement

      The New York Health Department is assuring everyone that their confidential and personal information is secure even when its health plan website suddenly shuts down.

      During this past week, when New Yorkers could sign up for low cost health insurance under the Affordable Healthcare Act, the site has often been disrupted due to an overwhelming volume of activity. The healthcare exchange website was slammed with some 30 million hits in just two days.

      D an Goetzmann, an employee benefits consultant for local companies says he was suddenly cut off when he had logged into the website. Goetzmann told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that when his clients have a question, he will log into the New York State of Health website and use his own confidential information to seek out an answer. "I spent 20 minutes on the website yesterday entering my name, the names of all my dependents, my social security number, my date of birth, a lot of confidential information. 20 minutes into the process, I was terminated from the website."

      G oetzmann figures he is probably one of thousands of New Yorkers to be suddenly cut off in the middle of shopping around for low cost health insurance or seeking answers to their questions. "I have concerns as to what happens to my information that I put into the system. It's not information obviously that I want out in the public. Because I did not log off, is it just still there? Is it open? Who has access to it."

      T he state health department in Albany put out a statement assuring everyone that their information is safe when the website shuts down. "Information entered in the system is saved securely in the event a user leaves the site by choice or due to a technical disruption." Additionally a spokesman said that after such a technical disruption, you need only re-enter your user ID and passcode and you'll be back where you left off. No data will be lost.