By Darren Smith
What is it with government software? Voting machines are dysfunctional, Federal healthcare systems self-destruct under heavy load, billions wasted on Federal Retirement systems that no longer work. Now, Washington State presents us with another example: The Washington Health Care Exchange’s Washington Health Plan Finder.
The website began open enrollment and was shut down after a just a few hours when the system detected that tax credit calculations were incorrect. State software engineers and managers are working to correct the problem that somehow fell under the radar when the system was being developed. How such a basic component could be missed by their QA is remarkable.
Exchange CEO Richard Onizuka stated that the credits were off by “just” a few dollars in some cases.
Officials shut-down the system at 10:30 AM on opening day, November fifteenth. Onizuka stated the system would remain down until the exchange could provide accurate information. Spokeswoman Bethany Frey suggested consumers try again another day.
System Administrators for the exchange hoped there would be no repeat of the original open enrollment fiasco when the system buckled down due to heavy load and rejected applicants having a hyphen in their surname. The first open enrollment occurred on October 1st, 2013. Since then about one thousand applicants continue to have problems getting their premium payments credited and the money transferred to insurance companies.
The website’s system update page proffers to be back online the next day.
The exchange’s website, as of 5:10 Pacific time, displays a page indicating the system is down. The text reads:
Thanks for your patience
Washington Healthplanfinder is temporarily unavailable. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please check back later.
More information is also available at http://wahbexchange.org/news-resources/healthplanfinder-status-updates.
This page was last updated on 11/15/2014 at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time
To top it off, note the above time as 10:30 AM. The Spanish translation on the page lists this time as 10:30 PM.
By Darren Smith
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