Washington Healthplanfinder Streamlines Renewal Process for Current Customers

Most Customers Eligible to Auto-Renew; Twice as Many Health Plans Available Starting Nov. 15 OLYMPIA, Wash.

Starting Nov. 15, Washington Healthplanfinder customers who signed up for a Qualified Health Plan last year will be eligible to renew their health coverage for 2015 plans. Most customers may be eligible to automatically renew their current health plan, but customers also have the option to update their application and shop for new plan options.

Approximately 80 percent of Qualified Health Plans offered in 2014 will be offered again during the next open enrollment period.

“The great news is that most customers won’t need to take further action if they like the health plan they had last year,” said Richard Onizuka, CEO for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “With twice as many health plan options this year, they may also decide to shop for a new plan that may better suit their needs and budget.”

Current customers should be on the look-out for “Open Enrollment Renewal” notices from Washington Healthplanfinder as early as this week. The letter will provide them with more information about their 2015 coverage and the renewal process, as well as any changes to their eligibility, whether they still qualify for financial help including an updated tax credit amount, and if they need to update their online account.

Customers may also receive notices from their health insurance company detailing any changes to their coverage next year. The payment deadline for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2015 for new and current customers is Dec. 23 at 4:59 p.m.

“It’s critical that customers take the time to shop for their health plan and submit their applications and payment by Dec. 23 if they are seeking coverage that starts in the new year,” said Onizuka. “Whatever, you do, don’t wait until the last minute to make this important decision for you and your family.”

Approximately 100,000 out of 147,000 customers who are currently enrolled may be eligible to automatically renew their overage. Customers are eligible for auto-renewal if their current plan will be available in 2015, they provided the Exchange with permission to check their eligibility for tax credits for the next year, and they still qualify for coverage based on their income level and household size, residency and citizenship status.

Customers who need help renewing their health plan may reach out to a navigator at a local community organization. They may also consult a registered insurance broker who can help them select a specific health plan based on their family’s needs.

Those who are enrolled in Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) will receive a notice 60 days before the month they enrolled in or renewed their coverage last year. Washington Apple Health enrollment is year-round.

The next open enrollment period starts on Nov. 15, 2014 for coverage beginning in 2015.  Residents may sign up or renew their health plans on Nov. 15 by visiting www.wahealthplanfinder.org.

About Washington Healthplanfinder

Washington Healthplanfinder is a new online marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses 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. 15, 2014 for health insurance coverage beginning on Jan. 1, 2015. The open enrollment period will extend through Feb. 15, 2015.

About the Washington Health Benefit Exchange

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is a public-private partnership established in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) to implement a new health insurance marketplace for individuals and small businesses. The Exchange is separate from the state and governed by an independent 11-member board. For more information, visit www.wahbexchange.org.

About Health Care Authority

The Health Care Authority includes the two largest state health care purchasing programs – Apple Health (Medicaid) and Public Employees Benefits system, which handles state employee benefits. Under Medicaid expansion, income eligibility guidelines increased to 138% of the federal poverty level effective Jan. 1, 2014, increasing state Medicaid rolls by an estimated 328,000 individuals.

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