State health-insurance website back on-line

OLYMPIA - The Washington Healthplanfinder website is back up and working.  The site had been down since last Tuesday for repair, the Seattle Times reported.  The source of the site's performance problems remain unclear, the paper reported.

“The site is back up and early data shows solid operations of the website,” said Curt Kwak, chief information officer of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, the public-private company that manages the exchange, called Washington Healthplanfinder.  “We held back a little bit because we wanted to fully confirm all the test data that we gathered through the last few days,” Kwak told the Times.

The website was taken down last Tuesday when staff observed that the site's performance had deteriorated to the point that consumers couldn't complete applications and enter data.  "We are very cognizant of the impact of not having availability of the website this week," Michael Marchand, director of communications of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, told the Times.

Information-technology staff suspect that the root problem affected the website was related to updates made to the system over the Thanksgiving weekend, the Times reported.

Despite the website problems, the Washington exchange has won praise, compared to the federally run exchange.  Recent figures show that 175,000 Washington residents have enrolled in health plans or Medicaid on the state health-insurance website since it launched October 1st, the paper reported.