While Washington’s health exchange website – wahealthplanfinder.org – has fared far better than the federal government’s multi-state site, it has not fully resolved its own nagging performance issues.
The site was taken down for repair at about 2 p.m. Tuesday and remains down. The website is not expected to be available until Monday at the earliest.
“We are having issues,” acknowledged Curt Kwak, CIO of the Washington Health Benefits Exchange, the public-private company that manages the exchange. Kwak says his staff first noticed performance issues on the site about 2 1/2 weeks ago. “We tried to implement hot fixes before the Thanksgiving holiday and it seemed to have worked at the time,” said Kwak. “But when we got back from the holidays it started to act up again. We’ve been managing that ever since.”
The only thing Kwak is sure of is that the problem isn’t being caused by the site’s links to its partners, including the state eligibility system and the federal data hub. His team has been concentrating on the potential issues with the site’s databases, routers and Web servers. “It has been a very difficult thing because the problems are very random and intermittent,” said Kwak. “We still haven’t located the root cause.”
When asked if he could estimate when the site would be up again, Kwak replied, “Nothing is clear at this point.”
Update, 2 p.m. Friday: The website remains down for repair. At 1 p.m. Friday, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which manages the site, posted the following statement: “This week, Washington Healthplanfinder customers experienced intermittent slowness and even brief outages as they attempted to complete applications online. To address these issues as quickly as possible, we have brought the site down so that we may better troubleshoot and conduct necessary maintenance.”
The exchange has not given any estimate of when the site will be available to consumers.