The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today announced that nearly 18,000 new customers have used Washington Healthplanfinder to select 2018 health coverage through the first four weeks of open enrollment. The number of new customers who have signed up since Nov. 1 represents a 43 percent increase over the same period last year.
In addition to the 4,500 new sign-ups received on average each week, Washington Healthplanfinder has experienced an 18 percent increase in visits to the website, with more than 423,000 visitors reviewing their coverage options on www.wahealthplanfinder.org.
Additional data revealing increased consumer interest during open enrollment:
|OE5 (Nov. 1-Nov. 27, 2017)||OE4 (Nov. 1-Nov. 27, 2016)|
|New applications submitted||17,842||12,500|
|Calls to the Customer Support Center||100,816||84,182|
|Usage of Smart Planfinder (new)||120,416||N/A|
|Downloads of WAPlanfinder mobile app (new)||8,490||N/A|
“It’s great to see so many people taking the early initiative to find 2018 health insurance coverage,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “As we enter December, it’s important that those who have not yet signed up for a health or dental plan do so to ensure their plans will start on the first of the New Year.”
To get the word out to those still needing to connect with coverage, the Exchange has launched a targeted marketing campaign comprised of digital advertisements on social media and high-traffic websites, including online videos and testimonials, and sponsorships of local events held throughout the state.
Statewide efforts to promote the in-person help available have included the Get Covered WA promotion on Nov. 18 that saw more than 45 navigator and broker locations host extended weekend hours to assist residents reviewing their plan options. Customers are also being directed to digital resources such as Smart Planfinder and WAPlanfinder, the new decision-support tool and mobile app available through Washington Healthplanfinder.
“Leveraging technology, including social media channels, is a great way to reach our customers and to align with community events and sponsors,” added MacEwan. “And the new mobile app makes it easier for people looking for in-person assistance to find help closest to them.”
Dec. 15 is the deadline to sign up for coverage that begins Jan. 1. To better accommodate any increased traffic leading up to that deadline, www.wahealthplanfinder.org will now be available until midnight on weekdays and 10 p.m. on weekends through Dec. 15. The toll-free Customer Support Center (1-855-923-4633) will also be available weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The most recent Health Coverage Enrollment Report revealed that a total of 1.7 million Washingtonians accessed their 2017 health coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder, including 177,000 customers who were enrolled in a Qualified Health Plan going into this year’s open enrollment. Since 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 an 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 open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder began 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.