Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) announced today the start of the 2020 open enrollment period that will feature more plan options and the potential for lower premiums for the majority of customers.
Now through December 15, Washingtonians seeking health insurance plans for themselves and their families can visit Washington Healthplanfinder to review and enroll in coverage. This year customers will find a total of 66 qualified health plans (QHP) from nine insurance providers – a 65 percent increase in QHPs from the 40 plans available last year. And, for the first time ever, a bronze plan offering will be available in every county in the state.
“We are happy to be offering our consumers more choices while premium prices stayed in check,” said Exchange Chief Executive Officer, Pam MacEwan. “This gives people more opportunity to find health insurance coverage that is best for them. It is particularly good news for customers in counties that previously had only one insurance carrier and now have a choice of coverage options.”
With the addition of more health plans, the number of counties served by only one insurance carrier dropped by half, from 14 for 2019 to seven for 2020, and increased the number of counties with at least three insurance companies offering plans from six to eight.
New health insurance carriers to the Exchange for 2020 are Providence and PacificSource who will be serving a total of nine counties on Washington Healthplanfinder.
Providence- Benton, Clark, Franklin, Spokane, Thurston, and Walla Walla Counties
PacificSource- Clark, Pierce, and Spokane Counties
Overall 95 percent of shoppers will experience little change in their current premiums or even see a premium decrease and approximately 96 percent of Exchange customers will have the choice of two or more issuers. Additionally, close to 85 percent of customers will keep their same 2019 plan as their 2020 plan and 94 percent will remain with the same carrier.
Washington Healthplanfinder remains the only place for residents to compare health plans offered in their county and connect with coverage that best meets their needs and budget and offers financial help to those who qualify.
The Exchange highly encourages customers to update their information, take advantage of our resources, and shop plans as other affordable options may be available starting November 1.
Available resources for coverage
- Online – Washington Healthplanfinder
- Mobile – WAPlanfinder app
- In-person assistance at enrollment centers or through brokers and navigators
- By phone: Exchange Customer Support Center 1-855-923-4633 | TTY: 1-855-627-9604
- Washington Healthplanfinder Chat
Chat will provide customers a platform to talk directly with customer support representatives—in English and Spanish—during business hours when they are logged into their user account.
Before starting the application process, gather all your information:
- Legal names of all household members
- Birthdates for household members
- Home and mailing address
- Social Security Number or immigration documents (Families which include unlawfully present immigrants may still apply)
- Income information (recent pay stubs, tax return, or W-2)
- Tax filing status
- Current health plan information
- Tribal membership (if enrolled in a federally recognized tribe)
Open enrollment for 2020 plans begins November 1 through December 15. During this time the Exchange Customer Support call center based in Spokane Valley will be open normal operating hours and ready to receive calls from 7:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. Additionally, extended hours scheduled:
- Open on November 11 (Veteran’s Day) and November 29 (the day after Thanksgiving)
- December 1 – 10: 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- December 11 – 14 from 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
- December 15 (Sunday) from 7:30 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.
- December 16 – 30 from 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
- Open on two Saturdays in December – the 7th and 14th (hours TBD)
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 open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder begins on Nov. 1.
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, 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