For Immediate Release: April 2, 2015

Washington Healthplanfinder Urges Residents to Take Advantage of Special Enrollment Opportunity by April 17

Tax penalty for not having health coverage increases next year  OLYMPIA, Wash.

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is reminding residents today that there’s still time to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan through the Washington Healthplanfinder spring special enrollment period. Residents are eligible to apply if they recently became aware of the tax penalty for not having health insurance or if they were unable to complete their applications due to technical issues by the Feb. 15 deadline.

Customers may contact the Customer Support Center to request a special enrollment at 1-855-WAFINDER. The special enrollment period ends on April 17, which comes before the national special enrollment deadline of April 30.

“Washingtonians who are facing a fine for not having health insurance in 2014 are asking how they can avoid an even larger fine when they file their taxes next year,” said Richard Onizuka, CEO for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “This special enrollment opportunity gives individuals another chance to get insured and avoid the tax penalty in 2016.”

Those who aren’t covered in 2015 should be aware that the penalty for not having coverage next year increases to $325 per individual or up to 2 percent of your income, whichever is greater.

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange along with brokers, navigators, accountants and tax-preparers is conducting statewide outreach to help Washingtonians file their taxes correctly, and remind them about the special enrollment opportunity. Today, the Exchange is partnering with Public Health – Seattle & King County to provide enrollment assistance and tax information at the Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park. Additional help is available across the state.

Washington Healthplanfinder and our partners are reaching out to residents through multiple channels to make sure they are aware of this unique opportunity to enroll,” said Michael Marchand, Director of Communications for the Washingtonian Health Benefit Exchange. “We are also communicating directly with our customers to help them correctly record their tax credit when they file.”

Qualified Health Plan customers who were covered by a qualified health plan through Washington Healthplanfinder in 2014 received a 1095-A form, which they will need when filling out their taxes. They will not be able to fill out the 1040-EZ form and should instead fill out the 1040, 1040 A, or 1040 NR form.

Customers who would like to request a correction to their 1095-A form should submit it as soon as possible by filling out a correction request online or contacting the Customer Support Center at 1-855-923-4633 for help. The online correction request form is available at https://petition.wahealthplanfinder.org/1095ACorrection/. The exchange’s website offers resources and a map of free tax preparation resources at https://www.wahbexchange.org/current-customers/your-1095-a-statement/.

For more information about the spring special enrollment opportunity, visit https://www.wahbexchange.org/new-customers/who-can-sign-up/special-enrollment-period/.

Reminders: Enrollment in Washington Healthplanfinder Business and Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) is year-round. Apple Health customers 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, 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.

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.

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