People stymied by error codes on state health exchange may get more time to enroll

Special to The Seattle TimesDecember 16, 2013 

The Washington Healthplanfinder site is the online portal for Washington state's health care insurance marketplace.

Washington residents who keep getting error codes when they try to enroll in health coverage on the state’s online insurance marketplace, Healthplanfinder, may still be able to get coverage by Jan. 1 — even if they are unable to complete enrollment by the Dec. 23 deadline.

Officials at the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which operates Healthplanfinder, said over the weekend they are talking with insurers about allowing those people more time to complete their applications and submit their first premium payments for coverage that would start at the beginning of the year.

A decision is likely by the middle of this week, or possibly earlier, said Exchange CEO Richard Onizuka.

He said the goal is to help people who have done everything they can to enroll but repeatedly get error codes because of problems with the system.

“If they’ve tried, and the problem is something that we’ve created that does not allow them to get through, we want to accommodate them as much as possible,” Onizuka said.

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