UPDATE: Health Exchange Website Hits Snag On First Day - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

UPDATE: Health Exchange Website Hits Snag On First Day

Posted: Updated:

SEATTLE (AP) - The website for Washington state's new health exchange got off to a rough start Tuesday. Reports of people being unable to get onto the site or complete their application led officials to take the site offline shortly after it went live.
    
Officials said that while not all users were affected, they put the site into maintenance mode to investigate the problem. Michael Marchand, a spokesman for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, said that the phone number for people to call, 855-923-4633, is not affected, and people are still able to go to locations around the state in person.
    
Washington state's marketplace used Twitter to apologize and to thank users for their patience: "We are working to ... correct a few things and will have an update at 9:30amPST."
    
Washington officials also warned people not to be fooled by fraud sites set up to look like wahealthplanfinder.org. Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler asked Washington residents to report any look-alike sites to his office.
    
Some of those sites were set up by licensed insurance agents, attempting to increase business, but others may be scammers attempting to get personal information such as social security numbers, said Richard Onizuka, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
    
Washington residents have six months to buy health insurance through the new exchange during the first enrollment period, which ends in March.
    
The state estimates about a million Washington residents do not have health insurance, or about one in seven people.
    
The state hopes to enroll 130,000 people for health insurance in 2014 and another 280,000 in 2015.
    
Another 325,000 people will be eligible to sign up for free insurance through Medicaid.
    
Under the Affordable Care Act, people who don't have insurance in 2014 will pay a fine when they file their federal income taxes in early 2015. The fines for people who ignore the new law are scheduled to increase over time.
    
"We want 6.5 million people to go to healthplanfinder to check it out," Marchand said Monday.

PREVIOUS STORY:

SEATTLE (AP) - The website for Washington state's new health exchange got off to a rough start, with reports of people being unable to get into the site or complete their application leading officials to take the site offline shortly after it went live.
    
Officials on Tuesday said that while not all users were affected, they put the site into maintenance mode to investigate the problem. Michael Marchand, a spokesman for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, said that the phone number for people to call, 855-923-4633, is not affected, and people are still able to go to locations around the state in person.
    
Washington residents have six months to buy health insurance through the new exchange during the first enrollment period, which ends in March.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Court Documents: Man Comes At Boy With Running Chainsaw As Form Of Punishment

    Court Documents: Man Comes At Boy With Running Chainsaw As Form Of Punishment

    Thursday, April 24 2014 2:46 AM EDT2014-04-24 06:46:13 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Tuesday morning investigators, including a SWAT team executed search warrants on two homes believed to be involved in a string of recent burglaries.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Tuesday morning investigators, including a SWAT team executed search warrants on two homes believed to be involved in a string of recent burglaries. In all, 9 people were detained and Wednesday we learned two men were arrested. 41-year-old Robert Pearson and 40-year-old Dennis Blessing are now facing charges including trafficking in stolen property.More >>
  • Jury Finds Arteaga Guilty Of Murder

    Jury Finds Arteaga Guilty Of Murder

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:14:03 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - It took a jury only a little more than two hours on Wednesday to find Daniel Arteaga guilty for the murder of Kim Schmidt. The prosecution said Arteaga was very jealous that his relationship was ending with Schmidt and she was moving on.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - It took a jury only a little more than two hours on Wednesday to find Daniel Arteaga guilty for the murder of Kim Schmidt. The prosecution said Arteaga was very jealous that his relationship was ending with Schmidt and she was moving on. They say that's part of the reason why he decided to kill her at the beginning of 2012. The defense disagreed saying that Arteaga was not there when she died and they think she may have even died of suicideMore >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.