WA state exchange mistakenly debiting consumer's bank accounts
See update below:
There is a real danger that we are becoming numbed by the avalanche of screw-ups related to national and state insurance exchanges. It's difficult, but we must resist the temptation to roll our eyes and think, "same old, same old."
A case in point is this latest disaster for the Washington state health insurance exchange. They are apparently mistakenly debiting the bank accounts of people who have purchased insurance through the exchange:
For the second week in a row, the Washington Healthplanfinder website is down, and it's causing problems for people who are dealing with billing issues. Some of them say the website is mistakenly debiting their accounts.
Shannon Bruner of Indianola logged on to her checking account Monday morning, and found she was almost 800 dollars in the negative.
"The first thing I thought was, 'I got screwed,'" she said.
The Bruners enrolled for insurance on the Washington Healthplanfinder website, last October. They say they selected the bill pay date to be December 24th. Instead the Washington Healthplanfinder drafted the 835 dollar premium Monday.
Josh Bruner started his own business this year as an engineering recruiter. They said it's forced them to pay a lot of attention to their bills and their bank accounts.
"Big knot in my gut because we're trying to keep it together," said Shannon Bruner. "It's important to me that this kind of stuff doesn't happen."
They're not alone.
One viewer emailed KING 5 saying, "They drafted my account this morning for a second time."
Another woman on Facebook with a similar problem commented, "We are all in the same boat."
"We've got to figure out how to get money to pay the bills for the next week or two until we have another check come through," said Josh Bruner. "It's just crazy."
Washington Healthplanfinder emailed the Bruners a few days ago telling them to log in to view their invoice, something they couldn't do because the website has been down. The Bruners haven't been able to get through on the helpline either. They finally contacted Healthplanfinder administrators by posting a message on their Facebook page.
Washington Healthplanfinder tells KING 5 their staff is looking into the problem.
Until it's resolved, the couple is putting their best face forward.
"We haven't bought anyone's Christmas gifts yet," said Shannon Bruner. "We're just kind of waiting."
We mustn't forget that these are real people whose lives are being turned upside down because of the incompetence of bureaucrats and the cloying overreach of Obamacare. It is inexcusable, unnecessary - an avoidable tragedy for which there appears to be little accountability on the part of government.
Another Obamacare "success story."
Update. KING TV presents the State Exchange's investigation:
Washington Healthplanfinder officials say they've finished their investigation after some enrollees said the website mistakenly debited their accounts.
Shannon and Josh Bruner claimed the Washington Healthplanfinder website debited their premium two weeks too early.
The Healthplanfinder staff investigated their case and could find no problems with the payment system, and that their records show the Bruners scheduled the earlier date as their payment date.
A spokesperson says enrollees received several email notifications to confirm the payment date for their premiums, but admits that because the site has been down for much of last week, that it would have been difficult for any enrollee to login to read those messages.
The finance department is willing to work with the couple to provide a refund if necessary.