The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today announced that it will have more customer resources and assistance available than ever before to help people find and enroll in health coverage for 2018. This includes “Smart Planfinder,” a new decision-support tool on Washington Healthplanfinder that connects customers with plans that best fit their needs, and additional community-based locations that are available now for the start of open enrollment tomorrow, Nov. 1.
Smart Planfinder customizes customers’ 2018 health plan choices based on personal factors including the types of prescription medicine they take, expected doctors’ visits during the year, and their preferred provider or hospital. The information used to tailor customer’s results is updated regularly and verified through outreach with providers and facilities in Washington state.
“Innovative tools like ‘Smart Planfinder’ make it easier for customers to find, review and enroll in the right coverage – coverage that meets their individual health needs,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Washington Healthplanfinder remains the most trusted source for residents to reliably and accurately find coverage options. Customers should use the resources available to not only identify the best health and dental plans for themselves and their families, but to also have peace of mind that they have made the right choice.”
Customers should also expect a more mobile-friendly shopping experience during open enrollment, with Washington Healthplanfinder now designed to better accommodate those comparing and selecting plans on a smartphone or tablet. Additionally, the Exchange unveiled WAPlanfinder, an app that allows customers to view their coverage from a mobile device. Most importantly, WAPlanfinder may be used to find nearby navigators, brokers, and in-person assistance sites.
“In-person help provided by trained navigators and brokers can lessen any confusion that may accompany shopping for 2018 coverage,” added MacEwan. “Our new mobile app, WAPlanfinder, allows customers to more easily find that help during open enrollment and then better manage their coverage once they’ve enrolled.”
Residents wanting in-person help also have the option of scheduling a visit or dropping by one of the 12 full-service enrollment centers and broker assistance sites located throughout Washington state. Each location is staffed with trained navigators and brokers who can guide residents through the enrollment process. Beyond those sites, individuals can connect with a navigator or broker in their area by clicking the “Customer Support” link on www.wahealthplanfinder.org.
The toll-free Customer Support Center (1-855-923-4633) will provide additional support throughout the open enrollment period, hosting regular hours of operation on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Extended hours will also be offered leading up to important sign-up deadlines.
The previous open enrollment period saw more than 200,000 residents use Washington Healthplanfinder to enroll in a 2017 Qualified Health Plan. Since first going live in 2013, more than 1.8 million residents have connected with coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder to help lower Washington state’s uninsurance rate to all-time low of six percent.
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.