For Immediate Release: May 13, 2019

Washington Health Benefit Exchange Issues Statement on the Signing of Senate Bill 5526 (Cascade Care)

OLYMPIA, Wash.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Today, Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, and Ron Sims, the Exchange’s Board Chair, issued the following statement regarding the signing of Senate Bill 5526 (Cascade Care):

“The Exchange and its Board applaud today’s signing by Gov. Jay Inslee of Senate Bill 5526 establishing the nation’s first-ever public option for health insurance coverage.

“Our enduring goal is to ensure that every Washingtonian has access to affordable health insurance coverage that protects themselves and their family. The signing of today’s landmark legislation is a step toward stemming the tide of higher costs and lower value that has prevented many from securing a health plan that met their needs.

“The Exchange would like to thank the governor, legislators and the many other contributors who helped make this bill a reality. We look forward to partnering with the Health Care Authority, Office of the Insurance Commissioner and other key stakeholders in designing and implementing suitable coverage options that are more understandable, more affordable and of more value to all Washingtonians.”

Reminders: Enrollment is offered year-round to individuals and families through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid). Customers enrolled in Apple Health will receive a notice of 60 days before the month they enrolled in or renewed their coverage last year.

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 current open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder began on Nov. 1 ends on Dec. 15.

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, like 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

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