For Immediate Release: August 18, 2015

Washington Healthplanfinder Announces Premium Payment Change for Customers

Health, dental plan customers must pay insurance companies beginning Sept. 24 OLYMPIA, Wash.

Washington Healthplanfinder today announced that current Qualified Health Plan and Qualified Dental Plan customers must pay their monthly premium payment directly to their insurance company beginning Sept. 24. Washington Healthplanfinder will no longer accept premium payments after Sept. 23.

After Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board staff conducted a thorough analysis of Washington Healthplanfinder’s process of accepting customer premium payments – known as premium aggregation – the Exchange Board voted in December 2014 to remove the functionality from the system. As a result, insurance carriers will handle all health plan related payments, as they do in the outside market.

Washington Healthplanfinder has accepted health and dental premium payments since its launch Oct. 1, 2013, although customers have always had the option to pay their insurance carrier directly. Nearly 20 percent of customers currently pay their carriers directly.

“Given that the majority of our system issues or customer complaints have been related to invoicing and the process of transferring payments to carriers, this should go a long way to improving the customer experience,” said Richard Onizuka, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “The Exchange and our insurance carriers have been working closely together to make the transition as smooth as possible for our existing customers.”

The Exchange and carriers are encouraging customers to start paying their insurance company directly ahead of the Sept. 23 deadline.Washington Healthplanfinder will cease to take customer payments at 5 p.m. on Sept. 23.

Any financial help such as tax credits and cost-sharing reductions that customers receive will not be affected by this change. Customers who have questions about paying their monthly premium payments should contact their insurance company directly.

Since Washington Healthplanfinder Business is legally required to aggregate premiums, small businesses that use the Exchange marketplace will not be affected by this change. Employers may continue to pay their monthly premiums at www.wahealthplanfinder.org.

For more information about the payment change, including a list of payment methods accepted by each insurance company, visit https://www.wahbexchange.org/current-customers/making-a-payment/, or click here for detailed frequently asked questions.

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. The next open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder begins on Nov. 1, 2015, for health insurance coverage beginning on Jan. 1, 2016. The open enrollment period will extend through Jan. 31, 2016.

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) to implement 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. For more information, visit www.wahbexchange.org.