Public Records Request
A public record is any state or local record relating to the conduct of government or the performance of a governmental function, which is prepared or retained by any state or local agency. The record may be in a variety of forms such as written documents, a recording, a picture, an electronic disk, a magnetic tape, etc.
The Washington Health Benefit Exchange provides access to public records under the provisions of the Washington State Public Records Act, chapter 42.56 RCW.
All records maintained by the Exchange are available for public inspection unless specifically exempt by law. You are entitled to access public records, under reasonable conditions, and to receive copies of those records upon paying the costs of making the copy. You don’t have to explain why you want the records; however, specific information may be necessary to process your request. We may require information necessary to establish if disclosure would violate certain provisions of law.
The more precisely you can identify the record you seek, the more responsive we can be. The Exchange provides access to existing public records in its possession; however, the Exchange isn’t required to collect information or organize data to create a record not existing at the time of the request.
Some records are exempt from disclosure. The Public Disclosure Act and other statutes list certain documents that are exempt from public inspection and copying (RCW 42.56). The Exchange WON’T disclose lists of individuals for commercial purposes. If only a portion of a document is exempt from disclosure, the Exchange will redact the exempt portion(s) before providing the documents.
How do I request public records?
- Complete the form Public Records Request.
- Be specific when describing the records you want. For example, a request for “records about polices” is too vague to enable us to search for and produce a specific public record. If necessary, we can help you complete your records request with enough detail to enable us to conduct a records search.
- Due to privacy rules and policies, we ask people requesting their own records to complete a Signed Release Form.
- Submit the completed request form and/or release to the Exchange.
Requests may be made:
In-person: Washington Health Benefit Exchange
810 Jefferson St. SE
Olympia, WA 98507
Mail: Megan Hunt
PO BOX 657
Olympia, WA 98507
How much will a public records request cost?
View the fee schedule at Public Records Request Fee Schedule. There is no fee for the inspection of public records; however, any copies requested will be charged as follows:
- Black & white copies: $0.15 per page for photocopies of public records
- Other media: $0.10 per page for public records scanned into an electronic format; $0.05 per each four electronic files or attachment uploaded to email, cloud-based data storage service, or other means of electronic delivery; and $0.10 per gigabyte for the transmission of public records in an electronic format
- Mailing: The cost of any digital storage media or device provided by the agency, the cost of any container or envelope used to mail the copies to the requestor, and the cost of any postage or delivery charge.
The inspection and copying of records is done by appointment during normal business hours. Requesters won’t remove documents from the viewing area or disassemble or alter documents. The requester will indicate which documents he or she wishes the Exchange to copy.
How long will it take?
We will acknowledge your request within five business days. When we acknowledge your request, we may ask additional questions to understand exactly what you need and give an estimate of the time we need to search for and produce the records.
Can my request be denied?
We carefully evaluate requests for public records to determine if we can legally release the records for the reasons given. If we must deny your request, we will send you an explanation of why the request was denied and list the specific law that exempts the records from disclosure.
Who can I contact if I have questions?
All public record requests are coordinated through the Exchange’s Public Records Officer. For more information about filing a public records request, contact:
Washington Health Benefit Exchange
Attn: Megan Hunt
PO Box 657
Olympia, WA 98507