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Wash. Officials: Shutdown Showed Health Exchange's Glitch Response System Working

Elaine Thompson
AP Photo
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State health officials are putting a positive spin on the bumpy rollout of the state’s health insurance exchange.

Over the weekend, the Washington Healthplanfinder website shut down just a few hours after it opened for business. It’s now back online after a glitch involving tax credit calculations was fixed.

Health exchange spokesman Michael Marchand says the shutdown is evidence that a quality control team, put in place after last year's problems with the site, is able to react in a timely matter and is making a difference.

"The fact that they were able to uncover this error in the time that they did, based on all the data they were sifting through, is pretty remarkable,” he said. 

Marchand says having to take the site down for a day was disappointing, but the pause will save a lot of headaches in the long run.

There was another shutdown Sunday night. According to Marchand, that was for planned maintenance by the federal government.

The state exchange has to interface with a number of federal agencies including the Veterans Affairs Administration, the IRS and the Social Security Administration.

The open enrollment period for people wanting to sign up or renew their health insurance at continues through Feb. 15.


Paula is a former host, reporter and producer who retired from KNKX in 2021. She joined the station in 1989 as All Things Considered host and covered the Law and Justice beat for 15 years. Paula grew up in Idaho and, prior to KNKX, worked in public radio and television in Boise, San Francisco and upstate New York.