Surge in Healthcare Site Users in Countdown to Coverage - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Surge in Healthcare Site Users in Countdown to Coverage

Posted: Updated:
The state's healthcare exchange website continues to deal with glitches as more people than ever are trying to sign up. The state's healthcare exchange website continues to deal with glitches as more people than ever are trying to sign up.

KENNEWICK, WA - The state's healthcare exchange website continues to deal with glitches as more people than ever are trying to sign up.

Healthplanfinder.org was up and running Friday morning. But Friday afternoon it was down again.

These continued errors, with just ten days left to sign up for coverage beginning January 1st, is creating a big sense of urgency.

People are reaching out for help and those helping them are just trying to keep up with the overload of customers.

"Thanks for your patience" is the message people keep seeing when they try to sign up for healthcare coverage on the state site.

Frustrated customers are turning to insurance agents for help.

"Every single day we've been getting calls from clients throughout the area that are concerned or confused about what they're supposed to be doing with Washington Healthplanfinder," said Kevin Husted, agent at Advisor Benefits.

The constant up and downs with the website is increasing the customer service demands. 25,000 people called for help on Monday alone.

The Washington Health Benefits Exchange says those numbers are comparable to much larger states like California.

I'm told the exchange has doubled their service staff since the site started in October.

And people are seizing the opportunity when the site actually works.

"When the website comes back up, we start calling people and having them come in when the website is up so we can actually help them," Husted said.

With just ten days left until the deadline for January coverage, people are rushing to get signed up and reaching out for help from agents.

"Came in on Tuesday with one appointment at 10 o'clock and by the time I got done with that appointment. I had seven more appointments for the day," Husted said.

The Health Benefits Exchange tells us they're increasing the site's capacity to process data to accommodate the surge in users.

"Many people working around the clock to make improvements to the website to run large batches of applications that previously haven't been able to get through due to error codes. So there's a number of steps our IT staff are taking to alleviate some of those issues that people are seeing," said Bethany Frey, Washington Health Benefits Exchange.

Frey wants to remind people that while the deadline for healthcare starting in January is December 23rd, it's not their last chance.

People have until March 31st to sign up for a plan for 2014.

  • National Health NewsGeneral Health NewsMore>>

  • Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    Mental illness not a driving force behind crime

    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...More >>
    TUESDAY, April 22, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Less than 10 percent of crimes committed by mentally ill people are directly linked to the symptoms of their disorders, a new study shows. "When we hear about crimes committed by people with mental illness, they tend to be big headline-making crimes, so they get stuck in people's heads," said study author Jillian Peterson, a psychology professor at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn. "The vast majority of people with mental illness a...More >>
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
  • Adjusting your thermostat might improve your thinking

    Adjusting your thermostat might improve your thinking

    You think best when the air temperature is at a level that makes you feel the most comfortable, new research suggests.More >>
    You think best when the air temperature is at a level that makes you feel the most comfortable, new research suggests.More >>
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.