OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today released its Spring Health Coverage Enrollment Report detailing the more than 1.6 million customers – one in four Washingtonians – who used Washington Healthplanfinder to access their 2019 health insurance coverage.
Nearly 200,000 customers used the state’s online marketplace to purchase a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) for coverage this year, adding to the more than 1.4 million residents who connected with free or low-cost health insurance through Washington Apple Health. In several rural counties (Adams, Grant, Okanogan, Pacific and Yakima), nearly half of the population relied on Washington Healthplanfinder to enroll in a 2019 health insurance plan.
“More than 80% of the individual market in our state depends on Washington Healthplanfinder to purchase their health insurance,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Our updated enrollment totals speak to a changing marketplace where customers look to us for affordable coverage options and trust our efforts to bring quality products to Washington state.”
Percent of Washington Healthplanfinder covered residents by county:
A key takeaway also included in the report is that a record high number of QHP enrollees are returning customers. Over 80% of total QHP customers in 2019 also purchased coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder in 2018.
“Customers understand the value of their health insurance,” added MacEwan. “As we increase coverage options in our state, we hope to introduce more affordable products that continue to benefit our returning customers and encourage new customers to connect with a health insurance plan that meets their needs.”
Additional takeaways highlighted in the Exchange’s sixth-year open enrollment report:
- Washington Healthplanfinder continues to meet customers where they are. Half of all Washington Healthplanfinder customers used a mobile phone or tablet to access their account information. The WAPlanfinder mobile app also topped 64,000 downloads since its introduction in 2017.
- Smart Planfinder sees spike in usage in its second year. The Smart Planfinder decision-support tool was used by nearly 80,000 Washington Healthplanfinder customers as they shopped for coverage during open enrollment. Introduced in 2017, the decision-support tool recommends health plans based on expected utilization, prescription coverage and provider coverage.
Individuals currently without health and dental insurance who have experienced a qualifying life event may shop for and enroll in 2019 coverage using a special enrollment period. Those customers who qualify may apply for a special enrollment period by creating a new Washington Healthplanfinder account or reporting a change to their existing account.
Residents who do not qualify for a special enrollment period must wait to sign up for health and dental coverage until the start of the next open enrollment period on Nov. 1.
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 current open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder began on Nov. 1 ends on Dec. 15.
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