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.)

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • 12-year-old Boy Scout being called a hero for quick action after crash

    12-year-old Boy Scout being called a hero for quick action after crash

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 8:15 PM EDT2017-05-24 00:15:47 GMT

    MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. - A 12-year-old boy is being credited for helping save lives during a crash at Four Lakes Road near Craig Road in Medical Lake Tuesday morning. First responders will tell you every minute maters in a situation like this. So the young Boy Scout wasted no time putting his skills into action.

    More >>

    MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. - A 12-year-old boy is being credited for helping save lives during a crash at Four Lakes Road near Craig Road in Medical Lake Tuesday morning. First responders will tell you every minute maters in a situation like this. So the young Boy Scout wasted no time putting his skills into action.

    More >>
  • Brush fire near Leavenworth grows in size; evacuations in place

    Brush fire near Leavenworth grows in size; evacuations in place

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 7:43 PM EDT2017-05-23 23:43:32 GMT

    LEAVENWORTH, Wash. - Update 4:40 p.m.: Chelan fire crews say the Spromberg Canyon fire has grown to approximately 40 acres as of Tuesday afternoon. Level 3 evacuations remain in place from Sunitsch Canyon to Eagle Creek and all Spromberg Canyon. Spotting remains a concern. Crews say fire has spotted across Chumstick Highway, adjacent from Spromberg Canyon.

    More >>

    LEAVENWORTH, Wash. - Update 4:40 p.m.: Chelan fire crews say the Spromberg Canyon fire has grown to approximately 40 acres as of Tuesday afternoon. Level 3 evacuations remain in place from Sunitsch Canyon to Eagle Creek and all Spromberg Canyon. Spotting remains a concern. Crews say fire has spotted across Chumstick Highway, adjacent from Spromberg Canyon.

    More >>
  • Woman fatally shot in Orofino identified

    Woman fatally shot in Orofino identified

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 7:04 PM EDT2017-05-23 23:04:59 GMT

    OROFINO, Idaho - Police and Sheriff's deputies continue to investigate a shooting that killed a woman in Orofino Monday night. Emergency crews responded to a house on Laqa Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Monday for a shots fired call. The woman was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound where she was pronounced dead.

    More >>

    OROFINO, Idaho - Police and Sheriff's deputies continue to investigate a shooting that killed a woman in Orofino Monday night. Emergency crews responded to a house on Laqa Avenue around 7:30 p.m. Monday for a shots fired call. The woman was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound where she was pronounced dead.

    More >>