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HealthCare Checkup

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

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You are currently viewing all posts written by Patrick Marshall.

September 4, 2014 at 4:58 PM

Healthplanfinder drops some for non-payment, adds others

According to figures released today by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, 24,072 people have been dropped from coverage through the Healthplanfinder insurance exchange since those plans took effect in January 2014. Of that number, 8,310 were disenrolled because of non-payment of premiums, 7,735 voluntarily ended their coverage, and 8,027 were determined to no longer be eligible for a qualified…

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August 21, 2014 at 7:38 PM

Healthplanfinder: ‘Moderately effective,’ could improve

How does Washington’s online exchange marketplace compare with those in other states? As part of an ongoing study, the nonprofit Urban Institute assessed how well state exchanges created  under the Affordable Care Act provide the sort of information consumers want to know about insurance plans they’re considering buying. The report — Physician Network Transparency: How Easy…

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Comments | Topics: Affordable Care Act, Bill Hinkle, Don Conant

July 21, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Washington health exchange sounds the alarm, questions Deloitte

One message came through loud and clear at today’s meeting of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange’s Operations Committee: It may not be time to panic about the health exchange’s problem-riddled invoicing and payments system, but it is time to sound the alarm and get all hands on deck. “We are really out of rope on this…

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Comments | Topics: Deloitte, Washington Health Benefit Exchange

June 4, 2014 at 1:04 PM

Washington health insurance exchange CIO resigns

Curt Kwak, chief information officer of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which manages the Washington Healthplanfinder online insurance marketplace, has resigned for personal reasons. “I want to spend more time with my family,” Kwak said this morning. Kwak oversaw the technical side of the development of the exchange’s website and its integration with state and federal databases from August…

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May 22, 2014 at 9:54 PM

State health providers call for fixes, more transparency from health exchange

The Association of Washington Healthcare Plans – an alliance of licensed health maintenance organizations (HMO) and health care service contractors (HCSC) in Washington state – said Wednesday that problems with thousands of consumers’ health claims have resulted in delays of service or in claims payments to an estimated 15 percent of enrollees in the state’s online insurance exchange. In…

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April 29, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Healthplanfinder site fixes potential password problem

The folks who run the Washington Healthplanfinder online exchange heard about several consumers who said that when they needed a new password from the website, the password was emailed to them in plain text — making it relatively easy to viewed by anyone intercepting the e-mail.  They were concerned about the security of that practice. I checked with Curt…

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March 31, 2014 at 6:22 PM

Healthplanfinder’s two brief outages may have been triggered by feds

So far, Washington state’s health exchange website — Washington Healthplanfinder — has held up very well under the increased activity as tonight’s deadline for signing up approaches. The website did experience two very brief outages, and there are indications that those outages may be related to troubles on the Federal Data Services Hub. According to Curt Kwak,…

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March 31, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Huge increases in health exchange queries

The customer-support call center of the Washington Healthplanfinder has seen a huge in crease in calls the past several days,” said Bethany Frye, spokeswoman for the exchange. Specifically, the call center received approximately 20,000 calls on Friday. By 1 p.m. today, deadline day for insurance-plan signups, the call center had already received 4,300 calls. “If people need help today…

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March 31, 2014 at 1:51 PM

Healthplanfinder site holding up on deadline day as visits surge

It’s D-Day for Washington state’s health insurance exchange, with the midnight deadline for signups only hours away. While there have been reports of short outages of the website, each time we called up the site it has been available, though pages do sometimes have small delays in loading. According to Bethany Frye, spokeswoman for the exchange, the…

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December 18, 2013 at 7:03 PM

State exchange officials report surging applications, smoother experience

Officials from five state health exchanges agreed that the challenges have been daunting and that indications over the past couple of weeks are very encouraging, with consumers signing up for insurance at a rapidly rising rate as the deadline approaches for obtaining coverage by Jan. 1. In a media conference call hosted Wednesday morning by Families USA,…

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Comments | Topics: Covered California, Richard Onizuka, Washington Health Benefit Exchange

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