WA Exchange Board holding special meeting for executive session

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board, which typically meets monthly, will hold a special meeting for executive session today. The meeting follows harsh criticism from the public and members of the Washington State Legislature over technical problems that have plagued WaHealthPlanFinder.org and the Exchange. The purpose of this special meeting is unknown.

On the first day of Open Enrollment, Nov. 15th, the Exchange shut down WaHealthPlanFinder.org after its Quality Assurance System detected an error resulting in miscalculated 2015 subsidies for enrollees. 800 accounts were affected. Since the botched launch, Legislators have hit the Board with calls for accountability.

Bill Hinkle, former state legislator and Exchange board member, told King 5 News that the recent setbacks have been frustrating. “You can’t understand the frustration as a board member that I have,” said Hinkle. He indicated that it might even be time for a change in leadership.

But why exactly is the Board holding a special meeting? According to the Revised Code of Washington 42.30.110, the Board could be meeting for a number of reasons. These include consultation with legal counsel, sale or purchase of real estate, review of publicly bid contracts, or evaluating the performance of a public employee.

At the previous Board meeting on Nov. 19th, members unanimously passed a motion requesting “quotation and qualification” from any vendors for a complete review of the WaHealthPlanFinder system. State of Reform will be following the meeting and have an update on any major activities.