WA State Healthcare Exchange Issues Statement Addressing 8,000 Client Account Errors
Hoping to answer questions, and stem the growing hotbed of controversy over a recent glaring issue with the new Washington State Healthcare Exchange, officials released a statement.
Newstalk870 and other sources reported this week the Washington Health Plan Finder website goofed on the calculations for some 8,000 clients concerning how much of a tax break they would receive. After initially saying they had no idea how it happened, Health Exchange officials said they had pinpointed the problem within 24 hours. These 8,000 clients will find they have to pay anywhere from just a few dollars upwards of $100 more than initially planned. Healthcare Exchange CEO Richard Onizuka issued the following statement that said:
“Last month, Exchange staff uncovered and corrected a system error that has affected around 8,000 Washington Healthplanfinder applicants who applied for qualified health plans during the month of October. This error caused applicants to qualify for higher than expected tax credit amounts than allowed based on their income level or household size.
The error did not impact any Medicaid enrollees or applicants or enrollees purchasing health plans without these tax credits, close to 91 percent of current enrollment, and the root cause of the miscalculation was corrected within 24 hours.
To ensure every consumer’s tax credit is correct, the Exchange spent the past week updating the eligibility determination for each tax credit recipient and confirming that all tax credit information is correct based on their income level and household size.
We understand that customers want to know how this may affect them and what steps they should take. To address these and other important questions, the Exchange will be providing all tax credit recipients with a correspondence that includes their eligibility determination with their corrected tax credit amount and simple steps for accessing Washington Healthplanfinder to either approve or modify their current health plan selection. This correspondence will also be available electronically through the customer’s account dashboard.
While the corrected tax credit differential may be less than a dollar a month for some, it may be more for those with higher income levels. On average the difference is about $100 per month.
The Exchange regrets this system error and is committed to helping each and every one of our customers ensure they have the correct tax credit amount and can choose the best plan to meet their needs and budget. This commitment will include personal calls from Exchange staff to customers who have initiated payment and are most affected by this error.
As standard practice, we would encourage all tax credit recipients to review their accounts for accuracy before initiating payment. It should be noted that no payments have been processed and individuals have until December 23 to approve applications that have been submitted.
Again, we want to sincerely apologize to those affected and thank everyone for their patience and commitment to ensuring that every resident has access to quality health coverage.”