An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Washington state health insurance, public benefits web portals to go offline for multi-day upgrade

Washington Connection screenshot

Washington residents will be unable to apply for state health insurance or other public benefits between Friday and next Wednesday because of technology upgrades to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services web systems.

Officials are asking those looking to get health insurance, or to update their account information, to do so before Friday at 5 p.m., or wait until Wednesday, August 16.

The web portal, where people apply for food, cash assistance, health insurance and long-term care, Washington Connection, will also be down over the weekend, and possibly through Tuesday. While the system is down, Department of Social and Health Services offices will also be unable to provide those services in person.

A Department of Health spokesperson said people can get general questions answered and information about local resources by calling 211, but workers will be unable to look up specific health insurance or account information.

She said the system is scheduled to be back online by 8 a.m. August 16. She said the upgrade will mostly benefit behind-the-scenes systems and will make online systems people use to apply for benefits, and health insurance more stable.

Rebecca White is a 2018 graduate of Edward R Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University. She's been a reporter at Spokane Public Radio since February 2021. She got her start interning at her hometown paper The Dayton Chronicle and previously covered county government at The Spokesman-Review.