For Immediate Release: September 24, 2020

Washington Health Benefit Exchange certifies health plans for 2021 market; Offerings introduce Cascade Care and the nation’s first public option


Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) Board today announced the certified 2021 Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) and Qualified Dental Plans (QDPs) to be offered through Washington Healthplanfinder during the upcoming open enrollment period taking place November 1 through January 15, 2021. This includes certification of new Cascade Care products available for the first time on Washington Healthplanfinder.

A total of 115 QHPs and seven QDPs were confirmed today by the Exchange Board following approval from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC). For the first time in several years, there will be two or more carriers in every county.

“Cascade Care is expanding access, choice and value for Washingtonians at a time when they need it most. More and higher value health insurance plans are coming at a time when more customers need coverage during the pandemic,” said Pam MacEwan, Chief Executive Officer of the Exchange.

Cascade Care 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 plan – either standard or public option – is the lowest-cost silver plan,” added MacEwan.

2021 Carriers MapThe addition of new health insurance companies—Community Health Network of Washington, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueShield, and UnitedHealthcare of Oregon, Inc.— will increase consumer choice. Washingtonians will have at least two carriers in all 39 counties available, compared to 31 counties in 2020.

Nine health insurance companies will return in 2021 and all carriers will be expanding their offerings with Cascade Care products. The added carriers and new plan offerings ensure that all Washingtonians will have more choices and access to high-value plans that cover services before the deductible.

2021 individual Exchange health and dental insurers approved today:

• BridgeSpan Health Company
• Community Health Network of Washington
• Coordinated Care Corporation
• Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest
• Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington
• LifeWise Health Plan of Washington
• Molina Healthcare of Washington, Inc.
• PacificSource Health Plans
• Premera Blue Cross
• Providence Health Plan
• Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
• Regence BlueShield
• UnitedHealthcare of Oregon, Inc.
• Delta Dental of Washington
• Dentegra

The eighth open enrollment period begins on November 1, 2020 and runs through January 15, 2021. Customers are encouraged to visit Washington Healthplanfinder to review insurance coverage plans and prepare for enrollment. Additionally, live chat will be available during call center hours, as well as available 24/7.

Visit the Exchange for the complete certification packet for 2021 Health Insurance Plan Certification.

Washington State Health Care Authority is in the process of finalizing the procurement of public option plans.

Reminders: 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 begins on Nov. 1, 2020.

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 passed in 2010, 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: