New Obamacare Risk: Unauthorized Debit Card Charges

Sunday, 15 Dec 2013 09:06 AM

By Greg Richter

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Some clients of Washington state's Obamacare exchange say they have been incorrectly charged for coverage already, and can't log into the website because it is down, KING 5 News in Seattle reports.

The site allows people to pick their payment date, and Shannon and Josh Bruner told the station last week that they signed up to pay on Dec. 24. They say they were billed early, leaving their bank account $800 in the red.

They were unable to get onto the site to fix the problem because it was down for the second week in a row. The incident raises yet another privacy concern about the healthcare exchanges -- unauthorized access to bank accounts.

Washington Healthplanfinder told the station that the Bruners had signed up for an early payment date and had been sent email notifications that the payment was coming, but since the site was down they were not able to log in to read the messages.

The Bruners say they have been unable to buy Christmas gifts yet because of the mix-up.

"The first thing I thought was, 'I got screwed,'" Shannon Bruner told the station.

Another person contacted the station saying he had been doubled billed.

Washington Healthplanfinder's Facebook page is touting Death Cab for Cutie guitarist's Chris Walla's successful signup in the program, and its latest update shows that the website is up and running, but the website itself said Sunday morning it was down for maintenance and would be back up at 9 a.m. Pacific.

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