The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today announced that expanded in-person help will be available this Saturday, Nov. 18 for “Get Covered WA” – a statewide effort to get Washingtonians signed up for 2018 health and dental plans before it’s too late.
More than 45 locations statewide staffed with trained navigators and brokers will host special hours of operation this Saturday to help guide customers through the process of signing up for coverage, including the 12 full-service enrollment centers and broker affiliate sites partnered with the Exchange. A map of all the in-person help locations that will be open this Saturday can be found at wahbexchange.org/getcoveredwa.
While the 2018 open enrollment period extends through Jan. 15, 2018, the deadline to sign up in Washington Healthplanfinder for coverage that starts on Jan. 1, 2018 is Dec. 15. Partners are encouraged to join in and amplify the call to #GetCoveredWA with materials available in the Exchange’s partner tool kit.
“Because the holidays can be a busy time for many, we are encouraging residents to join us this Saturday, Nov. 18 to sign up for their health and dental coverage for 2018,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Customers still needing to sign up should visit wahealthplanfinder.org to access coverage on their own, or connect with an in-person assister in their neighborhood to learn about their plan options and avoid any delays in gaining coverage that begins next year.”
Services provided by navigators and brokers include help identifying when customers are eligible to receive financial help like tax credits that can lower the cost of premiums, as well as cultural, linguistic, and disability support for customers with special needs.
Both this Saturday and throughout the open enrollment period, customers may locate a nearby navigator or broker by downloading the new WAPlanfinder mobile app or by clicking the “Customer Support” link on www.wahealthplanfinder.org. Additional assistance is available through the toll-free Customer Support Center (1-855-923-4633), which will also be open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. this Saturday.
Washington Healthplanfinder saw strong interest in the first week of open enrollment with web site traffic increasing by 24 percent over the previous year, and the number of new sign-ups jumping by more than 50 percent. Nearly 50,000 of those who have already shopped online have used digital resources such as the Smart Planfinder tool to customize their health plan choices according to factors such as preferred doctor or facility, how many doctor’s visits they expect to make next year, and how frequently they fill or refill prescriptions.
Reminders: Enrollment is offered year-round to individuals and families through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid). Customers enrolled in Apple Health will receive a notice 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 next open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder is set to begin on Nov. 1, 2017. The deadline for Jan. 1 coverage is Dec. 15.
About Washington Apple Health
In Washington, Medicaid is called Washington Apple Health. Coverage is free and 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.