The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is urging customers who are still seeking 2018 health and dental coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder to do so before the final deadline passes at 11:59 p.m. this Monday, Jan. 15. Customers who select their plan by this deadline and pay their premium to their insurance company will have coverage starting Feb. 1.
Customers who do not select a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) or Qualified Dental Plan (QDP) by this Monday’s cutoff will have to wait until next year to gain coverage. This date does not impact residents who qualify for Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) as they may still enroll in coverage at any point during the year.
“Any Washingtonians who still haven’t reviewed their coverage options and completed the application process must do so before open enrollment closes on Monday,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “There is in-person assistance available to anyone with questions about selecting a health or dental plan, and we recommend people use the resources available to secure their 2018 coverage.”
To assist those selecting health and dental plans before the deadline, wahealthplanfinder.org will remain online until midnight on Sunday, Jan. 14 and Monday, Jan. 15. Additional types of assistance available to customers signing up for QHPs and QDPs before the Jan. 15 deadline include:
- Phone: The toll-free Customer Support Center (1-855-923-4633) will be open this Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and on Monday beginning at 7:30 a.m. through the 11:59 p.m. deadline. High call volumes are expected to continue until the close of open enrollment. Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) customers, who may enroll in coverage at any point during the year, are encouraged to avoid increased wait times by calling the Customer Support Center beginning on Jan. 16.
- In-person: Trained navigators and brokers are available throughout the state to help anyone with questions about coverage. Customers can locate a navigator or broker in their area by downloading the WAPlanfinder app, clicking the “Customer Support” link on org, or visiting one of the 12 enrollment centers and broker affiliate sites based across Washington.
- Online: Smart Planfinder, the new decision-support tool available on Washington Healthplanfinder, offers customers a tailored list of coverage options that are based on factors including their projected number of doctor’s visits, prescription needs, and preferred healthcare providers. Additional shopping tips are available on org.
Heading into the final five days of open enrollment, more than 233,000 customers have already signed up for 2018 health coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder – a 17 percent increase over the same point in time last year. The previous open enrollment period ended with 225,000 residents using Washington Healthplanfinder to select health coverage for 2017.
Reminders: Enrollment is offered year-round to individuals and families through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid). Customers enrolled in Apple Health will receive a notice 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. The open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder began on Nov. 1, 2017 and concludes this Monday, Jan. 15.
About Washington Apple Health
In Washington, Medicaid is called Washington Apple Health. Coverage is free and 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: www.hca.wa.gov.