The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is alerting residents today that only a few hours remain to sign up for health coverage through wahealthplanfinder.org that goes into effect on Jan. 1. Customers have until tomorrow, Dec. 23 to select a Qualified Health Plan that begins at the start of the New Year.
As of Monday evening, 162,000 Washingtonians have selected Qualified Health Plans through Washington Healthplanfinder.
While the deadline for Jan. 1 coverage extends to 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 23, the Exchange is advising customers to select plans by 10 p.m. that evening and avoid the expected heavy online traffic. Customers who sign up after that time may be asked to take additional steps on the way to having their coverage confirmed.
“We are pleased that people have heeded the warning and are not waiting until the last minute,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “It is important that customers give themselves enough time to select their health plan and get coverage that is right for them.”
The Exchange’s customer support network continues to see extremely high volume from those interested in selecting plans prior to Dec. 23. The Exchange Call Center continues to receive 9,000 calls daily and Washington Healthplanfinder witnessed more than 25,000 customers come in Monday alone to start, work on or complete their 2016 plan selection.
MacEwan added that the success seen in the current open enrollment period can be attributed to the technical performance of Washington Healthplanfinder and the tremendous work done by the Exchange Call Center, along with the Exchange’s statewide assistance network of certified navigators and brokers.
“Many people still need assistance with the plan selection process. Call center representatives, navigators and brokers provide an invaluable resource for them,” said MacEwan.
As individuals and families sign up for plans, they should be aware of the next steps to receiving coverage. Insurance providers will begin sending monthly bills in January. Those bills must be paid on time in order to receive services. A complete list of payment options offered by insurance companies is available at wahbexchange.org/payments.
Customers are also directed to check with their insurance providers to see if they offer online accounts with access to printable membership cards. Information about accessing insurance cards, as well as other services associated with coverage, can be found at knowyourplan.org.
The Exchange Call Center (1-855-923-4633) is open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 22 and 7:30 a.m. to midnight on Dec. 23 to assist with residents still needing to sign up for a health plan prior to the deadline. Customers may also locate free, in-person help from a navigator or broker through the Customer Support link available on wahealthplanfinder.org.
Residents not needing coverage by Jan.1 have until the close of open enrollment on Jan. 31 to select a Qualified Health Plan through wahealthplanfinder.org. Plans selected by Jan. 23 will be effective Feb. 1. Plans selected between Jan. 24 to 31 will be effective March 1.
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.