Washington’s health care exchange shuts down

Only hours after open enrollment Washington’s health care exchange shut down. State officials and computer software engineers are working on fixing the issue with tax credit calculations.

Washington Healthplanfinder appeared to working fine, however, shortly after it launched the exchange’s automatic quality control system reported the problem and the exchange made the decision to shut the whole system down at about 10:30 a.m. to fix it.

According to Exchange CEO Richard Onizuka, the tax credits for some cases were not correct and the system will not be up until consumers who want to purchase health insurance have access to accurate information.

Spokeswoman Bethany Frey said that consumers should try again another day. Open enrollment for health care insurance will continue through Feb. 15.

According to the Washington Health Benefit Exchange:

“The Exchange’s quality control process has determined that 2015 tax credit amounts are currently being incorrectly calculated. As a result the Exchange is taking Washington Healthplanfinder offline in order to resolve the issue.

In preparation for year two, the Exchange had in place quality control review to capture any irregularities that might appear in applications during the first few hours of open enrollment.

This review process discovered that the state’s Eligibility System and Washington Healthplanfinder were providing 2015 tax credit amounts that were inaccurate, sometimes by as little as a few dollars. Understanding the challenge this could create for consumers, we are erring on the side of caution and taking the system offline to fully address the issue.

The Exchange and DSHS staff will be working closely together to identify the solution and hope to have the site back up as soon as possible.”

People can’t access their accounts on Healthcare.gov

Within just 12 hours Federal HealthCare.gov denied some people having access to their accounts, not letting them log in.

HHS spokesman Aaron Albright said in an e-mailed statement:

“The vast majority of users are having a smooth experience during the first day of Open Enrollment on HealthCare.gov as they fill out applications, browse and enroll in plans,”

“We expect to experience the normal issues that any other complicated technology project does upon launch and have seen a small number so far.”

Albright said the department “will continue to work every day to make the consumer experience simpler and easier.”