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HealthCare Checkup

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

December 2, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Another glitch afflicts an estimated 6,000 health exchange customers

About 6,000 enrollments in health plans offered by the Washington Healthplanfinder insurance exchange were improperly canceled because of an error, according to the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which manages the exchange.

“Early analysis indicates that our system integrator, Deloitte, ran an automated enrollment cancellation process in error,” said Richard Onizuka, CEO of the exchange, in a statement issued Tuesday evening.

The enrollments involved policies that take effect in 2015. Most of those affected have not yet been notified.

Bethany Frey, spokeswoman for the exchange, said the error may involve both new accounts and renewals of 2014 policies. She did not have a figure for how many enrollments and renewals there have been since the second open enrollment period in the exchange began Nov. 15.

“It will take a few days to contact everyone. Every individual will be contacted by a customer support rep, exchange staff member, broker or navigator,” she said. “They will also receive a letter, which is going out tomorrow, or an e-mail, depending on their preference.”

Frey said the exchange is also working on generating robocalls to ensure affected consumers are aware of the problem.

The exchange’s release said customers should take steps by Dec. 23 to ensure their coverage begins on Jan. 1, 2015:

— Sign in to their Washington Healthplanfinder account at www.wahealthplanfinder.org.

— Click on the “Select Plan” hyperlink under “My Household Coverage” on the homescreen to select a Qualified Health Plan.

— Re-submit payment. Previous payments submitted to Washington Healthplanfinder will not be deducted from the customer’s account.

Customers can also call the exchange customer support center at 1-855-923-4633. There is a special menu option to get assistance to re-enroll in the Qualified Health Plan a customer selected.

Technical glitches have plagued the exchange website, including one on the Nov. 15 opening day that led the staff to take the site down until the next day. In addition, during the exchange’s first year, problems caused numerous applications to be “stuck” in the system. Other complaints centered on problems with the handling of payments customers made for premiums.

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