In response to the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Washington state, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) today announced it is extending the current special enrollment period for individuals who are uninsured.
The original special enrollment period, that ran from March 10, 2020 through April 8, 2020, will now continue through May 8, 2020. Coverage will start May 1, 2020 for customers who enroll after April 8.
“We continue to see a steady number of people seeking health coverage. Washington has been hit hard by the pandemic and the next several weeks will be challenging. We want to be sure that health insurance is available for those who need it.,” said Exchange Chief Executive Officer Pam MacEwan. It is critically important to provide extra time for people to gain health coverage for themselves, and their families.”
Since March 10, more than 4,000 uninsured individuals have requested a special open enrollment with over 2,500 having completed their enrollment for coverage starting April 1.
To request a special enrollment or to report a change in income, contact an enrollment center, broker, or navigator to initially request. These insurance experts are available by phone to answer questions, assist in reporting a change in income, and get consumers enrolled in the right health plan. Consumers can find contact information at https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org/_content/find-expert-advice.html. Consumers can also contact the Customer Support Center between 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday- Friday at 1-855-923-4633; TTY: 855-627-9604. Language assistance and disability accommodations are provided at no cost.
In addition, current customers seeing income changes due to a reduction in work hours during the COVID-19 state of emergency or anyone who has lost employment altogether should report income changes. They may be eligible for Washington Apple Health or increased subsidy assistance to pay for premiums. More information is available at https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org/_content/report-change.html.
Those who experience a qualifying event (such as loss of income, loss of health insurance coverage, marriage, birth of a child or a move) are eligible to shop for coverage and/or those who qualify for Medicaid through Washington Apple Health is available year-round on Washington Healthplanfinder.
For more information and frequently asked questions, please visit https://www.wahbexchange.org/coronavirus-faqs/.
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 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 launched in October 2013, 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: www.hca.wa.gov.