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Washington health insurance exchange apologizes for bad information

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is apologizing for telling thousands of people they qualified for a higher discount than they actually did for insurance. (Washington Health Benefit Exchange screen grab)

About 8,000 people who applied for individual insurance through the state's health plan marketplace got bad information about tax credits.

Applicants were told last month that they qualified for a higher discount than they actually did, based on household income. On average, the mistake amounted to about $100 per month. For some, it was as little as $1 a month.

The head of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, Richard Onizuka, offered an apology saying the system error is now corrected.

Every applicant who got bad information will be contacted. If applicants have already made payments, they'll get a personal phone call, according to a statement from Onizuka.

The apology comes as The Obama administration reported Wednesday that just over 106,000 people nationwide were able to enroll in new health-insurance plans during the troubled first month of availability under the new Affordable Care Act.

Just approximately 27,000 of those signups came from states using the much maligned federal website, which has been riddled by technical difficulties. The remaining 79,000 came through the 15 marketplaces run by states and the District of Columbia including Washington.

A spokeswoman with the Washington Health Benefit Exchange says the newest state enrollment numbers will be released Wednesday afternoon.

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About the Author

Tim Haeck is a news reporter with KIRO Radio. While Tim is one of our go-to, no-nonsense reporters, he also has a sensationally dry sense of humor and it will surprise some to learn he is a weekend warrior.


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