By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
In November of 2014 we featured an article describing how the Washington State Healthcare Exchange website failed to properly calculate tax credits just hours after its launch. A year earlier, the system crashed under heavy user load. Now, it is once again broken–this time a day before the deadline for new enrollees to begin coverage beginning March first.
Those who do not sign up by tomorrow or otherwise have health care provided from employers or other sources may face heavy fines under the ObamaCare statues. Penalties range from seven hundred dollars levied on individual’s tax filings next year to as much as two thousand for families.
But once again incompetence in the state’s healthcare system puts the onus upon the individual citizen to remedy situations caused by the state.
The state’s website at the time of this article’s reads as follows:
Washington Healthplanfinder continues to be unavailable due to an unplanned outage of the state’s Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) eligibility system. This is the state system that determines eligibility for Washington Apple Health as well as for tax credits on Qualified Health Plans.
At this time, DSHS has communicated a 3 p.m. ETA for service restoration. Exchange staff are working closely with DSHS to get Washington Healthplanfinder back online as soon as possible.
If a customer’s inability to select their health plan on Washington Healthplanfinder is caused by an operational issue with our system or one of our system partners, they may be eligible to enroll outside the standard enrollment window. This determination will be made by Exchange staff after reviewing the specific application in question. We encourage customers to check back on our status, however, before the Open Enrollment deadline of Sunday, Jan. 31 at 11:59 p.m.
Updates will continue to be posted here when available.
Further updates presumably will be made at the following address:
The fiasco during the first incidents lasted months while in some cases customers paid premiums but failed to have the system link them with an actual insurance contract.
But, as before, it is now upon the consumer to explain to the satisfaction of state employees as to why they should be granted an extension for a problem caused entirely by the website’s system administration and operation.
Hopefully the website will be fully restored before an even greater mess occurs.
By Darren Smith
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