For Immediate Release: November 2, 2020

New Cascade Care Plans Usher in Washington Healthplanfinder’s 2021 Open Enrollment Period

More offerings, more assistance, and more benefits off More to Live Well OLYMPIA, Wash.

Starting Nov. 1, Washingtonians seeking health coverage can shop more options this year along with financial assistance by visiting Washington Healthplanfinder to sign up for health and dental coverage. New for 2021 will be Cascade Care offerings that enable consumers to shop, choose, and save from more options in all counties.

“As more Washingtonians are impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, having health coverage is crucial during these difficult times,” said Exchange Chief Executive Officer, Pam MacEwan. “We encourage all Washingtonians who are seeking health coverage to shop Washington Healthplanfinder during open enrollment and find plans for how they’re living.”

New this year, Cascade Care plans offer high value, standard benefits. Cascade Care is expanding access, choice, and value for Washingtonians at a time when they need it most. These plans offer deductibles that are on average $1,000 less than other plans, and cover more services prior to meeting a deductible, including primary care visits, mental health services, and generic drugs. Most customers will see that average premium costs and deductibles of Exchange plans are lower than previous years, including eight counties where a Cascade Care plans – either Cascade or Cascade Select – is the lowest-cost silver plan.

“With new plans available, we encourage customers to shop around for the best health plan that fits their needs,” adds MacEwan. “For example, many renewing customers can switch to the lowest cost plan in their same metal tier and save money, and many customers can save more than $50 a month by shopping.”

For those seeking coverage starting January 1, customers need to enroll in a plan by December 15. Those who enroll after that deadline and before January 15 will have a coverage start date of February 1.

Washington Healthplanfinder offers a wide range of resources to help people navigate their coverage options – including in-person enrollment centers, virtual video or phone assistance, and the WAPlanfinder Mobile App. Anyone requiring help signing up for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder may contact the Customer Support Center at 1-855-923-4633; TTY: 855-627-9604. They may also contact an Exchange certified Navigator, Broker, or Enrollment center who can answer insurance questions and help with enrollment. Free help from local experts is accessible via the WAPlanfinder Mobile App or by visiting www.wahealthplanfinder.org/.

During the 2021 open enrollment period, the Customer Support Center will be open 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. Additionally, extended hours scheduled:

November

• Sunday, November 1, 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
• Saturday, November 7, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
• Veteran’s Day, Wednesday, November 11, 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
• Saturday, November 14, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
• Day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 27, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

December

• Saturday, December 5, 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
• Saturday, December 12, 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
• Sunday, December 13, 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
• Monday, December 14, 7:30 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.
• Tuesday, December 15, 7:30 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.
• Tuesday, December 24, 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
• Thursday, December 31, 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

January

• Saturday, January 9, 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
• Thursday, January 14, 7:30 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.
• Friday, January 15, 7:30 a.m. – 11: 59 p.m.

Reminder: Enrollment is offered year-round to individuals and families through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid).

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 next qualified health and dental plans open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder is from Nov. 1, 2020 to Jan. 15, 2021.

Before starting the application process, customers will need to gather the following:

• Legal names of all household members
• Birthdates for household members
• Home and mailing address
• Social Security Number or immigration documents (Families which include  unlawfully present immigrants may still apply)
• Income information (recent pay stubs, tax return, or W-2)
• Tax filing status
• Current health plan information
• Tribal membership (if enrolled in a federally recognized tribe)

Customers should remember that wahealthplanfinder.org is the state’s official website and used by one in four Washingtonians to obtain health coverage. Customers should be wary of imitations and report any website posing as this official site by filing a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office. Customers may also report an insurance agent, agency, or other licensee for misrepresentations or fraudulent, deceptive, or coercive activity by filing a complaint with the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

To protect yourself and your family from copy-cat websites, follow these tips while shopping for health insurance:

1. Verify the web address of the exchange: The only official web address for the online marketplace is www.wahealthplanfinder.org. Any other site with a variation on the name or with an address that ends in “.net” or “.com” is not the state’s official marketplace. If you are unsure whether you have found the official website, call Washington Healthplanfinder toll-free at 1-855-WAFINDER.

2. Don’t pay for free stuff: The official marketplace for the state of Washington is the only place where you can receive tax credits, subsidies, or access to free coverage through Medicaid or Washington Apple Health. Washingtonians never have to pay to sign up for free or low-cost health coverage in the marketplace. 

3. Reach out to free, legitimate help: Only individuals who are certified by Washington Healthplanfinder or Medicaid to assist you with the enrollment process should request personal information to complete your application during a scheduled visit. This help is always free. If you do not know whether someone is certified to assist you, call the Washington Healthplanfinder Customer Support Center at 1-855-WAFINDER. Community volunteers trained by Medicaid can be verified by calling 1-800-562-3022 or emailing AskMedicaid@hca.wa.gov.  

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, such as 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.