Guest Post by Mara Zebest

Another hard lesson to learn for anyone that would trust in the myth of efficiency from a monolithic collectivism-based government to legislate any aspect of an individual’s life. Stories range from Maryland’s exchange director going on vacation (as the O-Care exchange website imploded) to dishonesty at the highest levels as Sebelius ducks questions on the “Lie of the Year.”

Now this report of Washington state families who can’t pay their bills because the WA State Exchange is erroneously debiting funds from their bank accounts.

KGW.com reports the following:

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 wrote a check to our nanny last week, it isn’t going to work,” said Josh Bruner. “So she can’t get paid.”

 

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