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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Health Plan Website 'Cruising At 55'

Washington Health Benefit Exchange

After a rocky start, Washington’s health plan finder website is now running smoothly. That’s according to a spokesman for the state’s Health Benefit Exchange.

Michael Marchand said Friday that users are not experiencing the same slowdowns and other problems that plagued the website earlier in the week.

“We’re back on the road right now and cruising at 55," he says. "But we know that at any moment you got to drive defensively. So we’re very aware of what’s out there, we’re very aware of the conditions may change at any moment.”

Marchand says IT staff will continue to monitor the performance of the web portal – Applicants also have the option of calling a toll-free Customer Support Center at 1-855-WAFINDER.

The next big stress on the system could come this December just before coverage begins in January under the Affordable Care Act.

Deloitte LLP got a nearly $55 million contract to build Washington’s Exchange.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."