Washington Healthplanfinder today announced a final push for residents to enroll in Qualified Health Plans through www.wahealthplanfinder.org by the end of open enrollment on March 31. More than 12,000 residents enrolled in plans this past week ahead of the deadline, which is four times the weekly enrollment average.
Washington Apple (Medicaid) enrollment continues throughout the entire year, as well as enrollment in health plans for American Indians and Alaskan Natives.
“The expected surge in last-minute enrollments has begun,” said Richard Onizuka, CEO for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “We’re urging residents who are still seeking coverage to complete their application as soon as possible to avoid missing this first open enrollment period.”
As part of the final push to remind Washingtonians of the March 31 deadline, residents can be on the lookout for an airplane in four Washington cities this week – Seattle, Spokane, the Tri-Cities and Yakima. The airplane will trail a banner message that reads: “March 31: Last Day to Get Health Insurance. #flybabybird.”
Customers must enroll and submit payment by 11:59 p.m. on March 31 for coverage effective May 1, 2014. Washington Healthplanfinder offers these last-minute tips to get enrolled:
- Get Help This Week: Residents can call the toll-free Customer Support Center at 1-855-923-4633 or find in-person help through a Navigator or Broker via the Customer Support link on the homepage. Enrollment events are happening across the State this week. Find one here: https://www.wahbexchange.org/event/.
- Don’t Wait Until The Very Last Minute: Washingtonians should enroll in health coverage as soon as possible if they have not yet taken action. Customers should anticipate longer than average wait times at the Customer Support Center or limited availability with Navigators and Insurance Brokers.
- Be Aware of Site Down Times: The Exchange and its dependent state and federal partners perform regular maintenance to better serve our customers. Maintenance schedules are posted here: https://www.wahbexchange.org/news-center/outages-maintenance/
- If You’re Still Stuck, Help is There: If the Exchange is aware of an issue with your application, do not contact the Customer Support Center. The Exchange will distribute notifications explaining that residents may be eligible to have their applications finalized after March 31 if they are prevented from enrolling due to a Washington Healthplanfinder system error.
Since Oct. 1, 505,271 Washingtonians have now accessed free or low-cost coverage options. More than 390,000 individuals who have been previously covered through Apple Health have also renewed their coverage through wahealthplanfinder.org for a total of nearly 900,000 residents.
“While many customers finalized their applications this past week due to a March 23 deadline for coverage that starts April 1, we expect to see a similar trend again this week as we approach the final enrollment date,” said Onizuka.
Updated enrollment numbers from Oct. 1 to March 23 are included below. Please note that Apple Health (Medicaid) data is through March 20.
|Web and Call Center Data|
|Call Center Volume (through March 23)||
|Avg. Initial Call Center Wait Time (through March 23)||
|Avg. Wait Time after Call Menu Selection* (through March 23)||
|Qualified Health Plans||
|Medicaid Newly Eligible Adults (through March 20)||
|Medicaid Previously Eligible but not Enrolled (through March 20)||
|Medicaid Redeterminations (Previously Covered – through March 20)||
|Qualified Health Plan Applicants – Need to Pay||
*Note: These numbers reflect enrollments and applications through March 23. Please note that “Average Wait Time after Call Menu Selection” refers to customers who have had an initial point of contact with a customer service representative and entered into wait queues for various areas of enrollment assistance.
Residents still seeking coverage through a private health plan should enroll by March 31 at www.wahealthplanfinder.org. Washington Apple (Medicaid) enrollment continues throughout the entire year.
Application Status Legend
- Qualified Health Plans: Includes individuals who have selected and submitted payment for a qualified health plan (private health plan).
- Medicaid Newly Eligible Adults: Includes newly eligible individuals who have qualified and enrolled in a Medicaid plan under the Medicaid expansion and does not include those who have transitioned from other Medicaid programs.
- Medicaid Previously Eligible but not Enrolled: Includes individuals (children, pregnant women, low-income families) who are newly enrolling but were eligible under old Medicaid eligibility rules.
- Medicaid Redeterminations: Includes individuals who were already enrolled in a Medicaid program and have had their eligibility status converted, re-determined or renewed through Washington Healthplanfinder as opposed to newly determined.
- QHP (Need to Pay): Includes individuals who have completed an application for a Qualified Health Plan that is awaiting payment.
Medicaid note: Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) does not have an open enrollment period. Individuals and families will be able to apply and complete their renewals via www.wahealthplanfinder.org throughout the year. Questions about Healthplanfinder should be directed to the toll-free Customer Support Center at 1-855-WAFINDER; Apple Health questions can be directed to the toll-free hot line at 1-800-562-3022 or emailed to AskMedicaid@hca.wa.gov
Washington Healthplanfinder, Bethany Frey, (360) 688-7752
Washington Health Care Authority, Jim Stevenson, (360) 725-1915
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. Washington Healthplanfinder began enrolling consumers on Oct. 1, 2013, for health insurance coverage beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. The open enrollment period extends through March 31, 2014.
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) with the goal to redefine people’s experience with health care through the creation of 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 appointed by former Gov. Chris Gregoire in Dec. 2011.
About Health Care Authority
The Health Care Authority includes the two largest state health care purchasing programs – Apple Health (Medicaid) and Public Employees Benefits system, which handles state employee benefits. Under Medicaid expansion, income eligibility guidelines increased to 138% of the federal poverty level effective Jan. 1, 2014, increasing state Medicaid rolls by an estimated 328,000 individuals.
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