For Immediate Release: December 23, 2014

Washington Healthplanfinder Reminds Residents to Get Enrolled by 5 p.m. Today

Renewing Customers Must Also Take Action to Avoid a Gap in Coverage OLYMPIA, Wash.

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is reminding residents today to select and pay for a Qualified Health Plan through www.wahealthplanfinder.org by 5 p.m. for coverage that begins on Jan. 1, 2015. As of yesterday, more than 92,000 residents have enrolled for coverage that starts in 2015, with 22,710 of those customers enrolling for the first time in a Qualified Health Plan.

Interest surrounding the Dec. 23 deadline has been strong with approximately 30,000 calls to the Customer Support Center since Friday, Dec. 19. Nearly 7,000 customers enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan from Friday to Sunday alone.

“As expected, the surge in enrollments and website visits has begun,” said Richard Onizuka, CEO for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “It’s critical that residents finalize their enrollment by 5 p.m. – including payment for their health plan – if they want their coverage to start on Jan. 1.”

Data shows that roughly half of the 130,000 customers who are currently enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan have not yet taken action to renew their coverage for 2015. The majority of these customers are those with an unpaid balance for 2014 coverage.

Under federal law, these customers still have the ability to come back and renew their health plan for 2015.

“A previously unpaid balance for 2014 coverage is not a barrier to enrollment in 2015,” said Onizuka. “The Exchange has proactively communicated with these customers via letters and phone calls to come back to avoid a potential gap in their health insurance in the month of January.”

Customers who are unable to meet today’s deadline due to a technical error associated with their application will have a special enrollment opportunity for Jan. 1 coverage. Details about this special enrollment opportunity will be released later today.

Those who need assistance enrolling by the deadline today may contact the toll-free Customer Support Center (1-855-923-4633) or locate a navigator or insurance broker through the Customer Support link on wahealthplanfinder.org.

For those who aren’t seeking coverage that starts on Jan. 1, the open enrollment period extends through Feb. 15, 2015.

Reminders: Enrollment in Washington Healthplanfinder Business and Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) is year-round. Apple Health customers will receive a notice 60 days before the month they enrolled in or renewed their coverage last year.

Residents who are interested in signing up or renewing their Qualified Health Plan may visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org.

About Washington Healthplanfinder

Washington Healthplanfinder is a new online marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses 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 next open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder begins on Nov. 15, 2014 for health insurance coverage beginning on Jan. 1, 2015. The open enrollment period will extend through Feb. 15, 2015.

About the Washington Health Benefit Exchange

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is a public-private partnership established in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) to implement a new health insurance marketplace for individuals and small businesses. The Exchange is separate from the state and governed by an independent 11-member board. For more information, visit www.wahbexchange.org.

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