For Immediate Release: September 21, 2023

Cascade Care preserves affordability for Washington Healthplanfinder customers

Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board certifies 82 plans for 2024 Olympia

In advance of open enrollment beginning November 1, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) Board certified 82 health insurance plans and 12 dental insurance plans to be sold on Washington Healthplanfinder for plan year 2024.

While access to affordable health insurance remains a top priority for the Exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder customers face an average premium increase of 9% for the second year in a row. This is triple the state’s health care cost growth benchmark of 3%. Seventy percent of Washington Healthplanfinder qualified health plan customers are facing rate increases over 5% — with some customers experiencing increases exceeding 15%. All Washington Healthplanfinder customers are encouraged to shop available plans starting November 1st. Cascade Care Savings are available to qualifying customers which can lower monthly premiums to less than $10 a month.

“In its first year, the state’s premium assistance program, Cascade Care Savings, helped nearly 60,000 Washingtonians afford their health insurance. However, even with current federal and state subsidies available, year-over-year rate increases are unsustainable,” Exchange CEO Ingrid Ulrey said. “The Exchange is committed to continue working toward providing affordable and accessible health care to all Washingtonians.”

Washington Healthplanfinder’s Cascade Care Savings lowers customers’ monthly costs via state-funded premium assistance. These savings are available for individuals and families earning up to 250% of the federal poverty level (FPL) — that is $33,975 per year for a one-person household and $57,575 for a three-person household. Cascade Care Savings are available to customers who select a Cascade Care Silver or Gold Plan available exclusively on Washington Healthplanfinder. Many of the Exchange’s qualified health plan customers could benefit from these savings if they shop and switch to a Cascade Care Silver or Gold plan during open enrollment starting November 1st.

Cascade Care plans, available in every Washington county, continue to grow in access and enrollment year-over-year — with more than two out of three qualified health plan customers enrolled in a Cascade Care plan in 2023. These plans remain some of the most affordable options on Washington Healthplanfinder and provide standard benefit design, allowing easier comparison between plans. Cascade Care plans let customers pay less at the doctor’s office, with more predictable costs.

Cascade Select (public option) plans are the least expensive Silver plan in 31 counties, before any available subsidies. While average plan premiums for 2024 are up, Cascade Select plans have average premium increases nearly 50% lower than non-Cascade plans. These plans are now available in 37 counties, up from 34 in 2023.

“We look forward to continued engagement with the Legislature, Governor's office, and state agency and carrier partners,” Ulrey said. “The Exchange is committed to providing all Washingtonians access to low-cost, high-value health insurance on Washington Healthplanfinder.”


Reminders: Enrollment is offered year-round to individuals and families through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid). Customers enrolled in Apple Health will receive a notice of 60 days before the month they enrolled in or renewed their coverage last year.

About Washington Healthplanfinder

Washington Healthplanfinder is an online marketplace for individuals and families in Washington to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage and gain access to tax credits, reduced cost sharing and public programs such as Medicaid. Open enrollment for Washington Healthplanfinder is from Nov. 1, 2023, to Jan. 15, 2024. Enrollment reports and data are available from Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

About Washington Apple Health

In Washington, Medicaid is called Washington Apple Health. Free or low-cost coverage is available year-round for those who qualify. Since the Affordable Care Act launched in October 2013, more people have access to preventive care, like cancer screenings, treatment for diabetes and high blood pressure, and many other health care services they need to stay healthy. Apple Health clients enroll and renew online using Washington Healthplanfinder. Apple Health is administered by the Washington State Health Care Authority,