Washington State Health Care Exchange Website Broken, Again.

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

TRS-80 Model 1In 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:

12 p.m.

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


Washington Health Benefit Exchange

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

13 thoughts on “Washington State Health Care Exchange Website Broken, Again.”

  1. I – and I hope many of you – are saving this and other related articles. These stories demonstrate a propensity of information that could help support a defense against ‘fines’, ‘surcharges’, or other ACA ‘penalty’.

    NOTE: This is not – nor is it intended to be – legal nor medical nor financial nor religious advice. This message does not necessarily represent any political party, candidate, endorsement/non-endorsement of any public question, or any group, business, corporation, organization, or association. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily my own. There is no advocation of violence in any way. This post is protected Free Speech intended for intellectual, theoretical, and philosophical discussion.

  2. Am fortunate not to have to use the system even tho we live in Washington….near Seattle.

    But this situation is one more reason why I always take “screen shots” of paperwork filed via the Internet.

    Am not sure there will be much left for the U. S. Executive branch to dismantle, amend or reinvigorate. I thank the Lord that my wife (of over 40 yrs) and I are retired military. We remember well the “lifer” commenting cuts made by contemporaries over the years. Even though the benefit we enjoy may be reduced through budget cuts via cutting COLAs, we’re still better off than most.

  3. If they’ve been trying to login with the computer in the photo I can understand why? Boot that up and you’ll probably find Pong running.

  4. Haven’t we learned yet that the government procurement system is broken? We taxpayers overpay for contracts that under deliver. There’s no accountability. The people involved just keep getting raises that are not linked to performance. We repeat this experiment often enough that it should be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer.

    This is a dire problem for those who need to sign up for blatantly overpriced healthcare or subsidized healthcare the day before the deadline.

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