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Security fix need led to temporary shutdown of Vermont health insurance website

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MONTPELIER, Vermont — Vermont's top health care reform official told lawmakers that the state's health insurance website was taken down temporarily because security upgrades did not keep pace with a schedule agreed to with federal officials.

Health care reform chief Lawrence Miller said Thursday the only way to complete the upgrades was to close down the web portal and complete the improvements.

"We did not complete all those security upgrades on the schedule that we had set and made the decision that we should stop and secure the site completely," he said. "The only way to do that was to close down the web portal and complete those improvements before we reopen."

He said no consumer information was compromised nor was there any other kind of security breach.

The state announced Tuesday it was taking the troubled Vermont Health Connect website offline so upgrades can be completed in time for it to be ready for the next open enrollment period, which begins Nov. 15.

During a Thursday meeting of the Health Care Oversight Committee some lawmaker said they were unhappy that they were not informed.

But Miller said security experts advised against giving advanced notice.

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