People of Northwest Public Radio
Washington Healthcare Exchanges
Tue October 1, 2013
Washington Exchange Website Stumbles Out Of The Gates
Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 4:24 pm
It was a rocky start to Obamacare in Washington. The state’s new health insurance website is up now, but it was shut down for most of the day because of technical glitches.
Misti Hlavacek set her alarm early to get up and sign up for healthcare. She couldn’t wait to log onto wahealthplanfinder.org and select an insurance plan. Instead:
“It just said error, loading page, reload,” says Hlavacek.
Hlavacek vented her disappointment on the Exchange’s Facebook page: “Boo,” she wrote. Hlavacek is unemployed, uninsured and has pre-existing conditions.
“Being able to sign up would have been a huge relief for me and just all that weight lifted off my shoulders,” she says.
“The launch could not have gone any worse,” says Bharat Shyam, Washington’s former chief information officer -- and a big fan of Obamacare. Back in January, he warned in a report that the race to meet an October 1st deadline could result in “major flaws.”
“This date was coming for a long time and the launch is just terrible,” Shyam says.
An Exchange spokesman called the problems “bumps in the road” and said success would be measured in the coming months, not the first hours.
Deloitte LLP got a $50M contract to build Washington’s Exchange.
On the Web:
Washington Health Plan Finder - official site
Northwest Healthcare Exchanges