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HealthCare Checkup

The Seattle Times health-care team tracks the local impact of the Affordable Care Act.

November 16, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Washington Healthplanfinder back in business

Washington Healthplanfinder, the state’s health insurance exchange website — is open for business this morning after staff worked overnight to fix a glitch in the system’s software for calculating 2015 tax credits.

The problem was noticed during the site’s first hours of operation on Saturday morning, the first day of open enrollment for 2015 plans. The staff decided to take the site down for repairs at 10 a.m.

In a statement, the exchange said the miscalculation affected fewer than 800 customers, including nearly 150 customers who scheduled payments based on that information. The exchange will be contacting those customers individually to notify them of the corrected figures.

The cause of the inaccurate calculations apparently involved the state Department of Social and Health Services’ eligibility system. According to Michael Marchand, communications director of the Washington Health Benefits Exchange, the system was using using 2014 rather than 2015 tables for figuring credits.

“The The system wasn’t set up to point to the 2015 pivot table until 2015 because we’re still in calendar year 2014,” Marchand said. He said he’s still gathering information on the problem but, he said, “I think that was the big issue.”

Requests for comment from DSHS have not been returned.

The tax-credit calculations are important in helping users determine how much a health plan will cost them.  Based on an applicant’s income level, the credits go toward making premium payments more affordable for those who qualify.

 

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