OLYMPIA, Wash. – The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today confirmed the resources and assistance options available statewide to residents using Washington Healthplanfinder to sign up for health and dental coverage during the open enrollment period that begins at 8 a.m. on Nov. 1.
Different from previous open enrollment periods, residents have until Dec. 15 – six weeks total – to sign up for health and dental insurance through Washington Healthplanfinder that covers themselves and their family during the upcoming year.
“The window for residents to shop and sign up for health and dental insurance is shorter this year,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “The start of open enrollment should signal all customers to begin evaluating their options as quickly as possible in order to choose their 2019 coverage before the open enrollment period ends on Dec. 15.”
Customers accessing Washington Healthplanfinder during open enrollment will be greeted with a more streamlined method for taking action related to their health insurance, including finding financial help. Determining eligibility for free or low-cost coverage offered exclusively through Washington Healthplanfinder is a primary response customers may now select from a redesigned homepage that asks visitors “What would you like to do today?”
Washington Healthplanfinder also remains the only place Washingtonians can compare health plans offered in their county before connecting with coverage that best meets their needs. Smart Planfinder, the consumer decision-support tool introduced in 2017, offers the most advanced method for choosing health insurance. By inputting provider preferences, prescription drug requirements and cost considerations, Smart Planfinder can identify “Smart Choice” plans that more effectively meet projected medical needs.
In-person support may be accessed through Washington Healthplanfinder’s extensive network of trained navigators and brokers. Available at designated enrollment centers and other locations based throughout the state, navigators and brokers offer expert in-person assistance to any individual who needs help enrolling in 2019 health and dental plans.
Linking up with a nearby navigator or broker is easiest through the WAPlanfinder mobile app. By identifying a customer’s current location, WAPlanfinder provides contact information for and directions to the closest in-person help in their neighborhood. The app also directly connects customers with answers to frequently asked questions and allows for coverage-related documents to be uploaded quickly and securely.
As is the case every open enrollment period, customers may access over-the-phone assistance by calling Washington Healthplanfinder’s toll-free Customer Support Center (1-855-923-4633). Throughout the open enrollment period, the Customer Support Center will be available during weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Additional hours of availability will be extended at peak sign-up times during open enrollment.
Special sign-up events are also expected to be held leading up to the Dec. 15 deadline for 2019 coverage. Locations and other information for those events can be found by visiting the #GetCoveredWA hub located at www.wahbexchange.org.
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