State health exchange opens, site goes down

blog.healthplanfinderUPDATE: The Healthplanfinder website will be down until 8 a.m. Sunday, according to its Twitter account.

The Washington health insurance exchange experienced some early turbulence Saturday during the launch of its open enrollment period. 

The Healthplanfinder website was taken down after it was discovered tax credit calculations weren’t accurate. These statements were posted on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange website:

1 p.m.

Washington Healthplanfinder is currently unavailable due to a quality control finding by our staff earlier this morning. Our staff is working with our system partners from the Department of Social and Human Services (DSHS) to resolve incorrect eligibility results for 2015 health insurance premium tax credit amounts. We are working to fix this issue as quickly as possible and expect to be back online sometime tomorrow morning on Sunday, Nov. 16. Thank you for your patience as we work to ensure that customers receive correct information from Healthplanfinder.

11:25 a.m.

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. Privileged users are advised to not process paper applications until further notice.

Planned Weekend Maintenance:

Washington Healthplanfinder will be unavailable during the following time:

  • Saturday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. to Sunday, Nov 16 at 5 a.m. 
  • Sunday, Nov. 16 at 8:30 p.m. to Monday, Nov 17 at 4 a.m. federal data services, DSHS and eligibility service maintenance

Users will see a message at that Healthplanfinder is closed for maintenance at this time. 

Follow business reporter Tad Sooter on Twitter at @tsooter. Contact him at or leave a comment below.

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