By Donna Gordon Blankinship Associated Press
SEATTLE — Washington’s online health insurance exchange was offline overnight until nearly 9 a.m. on Monday morning despite a looming deadline for Washington residents to sign up for health insurance — or at least try to start the process.
A spokesman for the Washington Healthplanfinder says the site was down for scheduled maintenance overnight. And then they extended the closure for another few hours to run some applications that had previously been stopped by error messages.
Michael Marchand says this extra work will allow more people to come back and complete their enrollments.
People who start their application on wahealthplanfinder.org by midnight Monday will have some extra time to complete it and still get health insurance starting Jan. 1.
Officials at the health exchange announced last week they would extend the deadline to help more people sign up.
If they complete the application they began by Dec. 23 and pay by Jan. 15, their insurance benefits will cover them retroactively back to Jan. 1.
About 32,000 Washington residents have completed their applications for private insurance and made their first payment for insurance that begins on Jan. 1. Another 61,000 have done everything but made the first payment. Thousands more are still in process.