Update April 1, 2020 – The special enrollment period due to COVID-19 is now extended through May 8, 2020. Existing enrollees who are facing income changes can self-serve by signing in to report a change. New enrollees are encouraged to search for a local insurance expert or call customer support between 7:30a.m. - 5:30p.m. Monday through Friday to learn about coverage options. Learn More

Special Enrollment Period

In response to the potential growth of Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) announced a limited-time special enrollment period for qualified individuals who are currently without insurance. This special enrollment period (SEP), that runs through April 8, 2020, will allow uninsured individuals to enroll in health insurance coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.

Until April 8, individuals seeking a special enrollment must contact the Customer Support Center between 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at 1-855-923-4633; TTY: 1-855-627-9604, or a local certified broker or navigator, request the SEP, and select a plan by April 8 for coverage start date beginning April 1, 2020. Language assistance and disability accommodations are provided at no cost.

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Additional information and resources

Frequently Asked Questions

A special enrollment period is a time outside the open enrollment period when you can sign up for coverage or shop for a new plan. Certain life changes or special circumstances may qualify you for a special enrollment period. For events that don’t qualify for a special enrollment period, you’ll need to wait for the next open enrollment period to sign up or shop for a new plan. When you apply or report a change through Washington Healthplanfinder, your health plan shopping experience will depend on your qualifying life event.

Washington Apple Health enrollment is year-round and you don’t need a special enrollment period to apply.


Qualifying Life Events

Once you’ve had a qualifying life event, your household has 60 days to sign up for coverage or shop for a new plan. Your new coverage will be effective depending on the type of event you report.

Examples of qualifying life events:

  • Adding a dependent or becoming a dependent
  • Losing a dependent or dependent status*
  • Filed or reconciled taxes for a year that you received health insurance premium tax credits
  • Change in program eligibility or amount of financial help*
  • Losing other health coverage (i.e., job loss, divorce, loss of Washington Apple Health or WSHIP coverage, etc.)
  • Permanently moving from a location in the United States to Washington, or to a new county within Washington, only if you had minimum essential coverage for at least one day within the 60 days before you moved
  • Permanently moving from a location outside the United States to Washington
  • A change in citizenship or lawful presence status
  • Getting released from jail or prison
  • Tribal membership
  • Gaining access to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) through your employer. More information about HRAs can be found here

*This is for currently enrolled customers only.

View the full list of qualifying life events.

These changes do not count as a qualifying life event:

  • Choosing to stop other health coverage
  • Being terminated for not paying your premiums
  • Finding out your doctor isn’t covered through your plan

Special Circumstances

Certain special circumstances may also qualify you for a special enrollment period.

Examples of special circumstances:

  • Survivors of domestic abuse/violence or spousal/domestic abandonment. Read more about survivors of domestic violence applying for coverage.
  • Errors of Washington Healthplanfinder (includes system errors that prevented you from getting coverage)
  • Customer working with Washington Healthplanfinder staff on an enrollment issue that did not get resolved before the end of open enrollment
  • Contract violation by the Qualified Health Plan
  • Additional exceptional circumstances as defined and approved by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange

View the full list of qualifying special circumstances.

Applying for a Special Enrollment Period

If you’re a new customer:

  1. Visit and create an account
  2. Fill out an application
  3. If you’re eligible for a Qualified Health Plan, fill out the Special Enrollment Questionnaire
  4. If you qualify, select and confirm your plan

If you’re an existing customer:

  1. Visit and sign in to your account
  2. Click the quick link “Report a Change in Income or Household”
  3. Fill out the Special Enrollment Questionnaire
  4. If you qualify, select and confirm your plan

If you are approved for a special enrollment period, your insurance company may ask for records that prove you qualify. Make sure you have these papers ready in case you need to show proof.