In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) today is urging individuals who did not secure health insurance for 2020 to sign up for coverage by 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 8, the deadline of the limited-time special enrollment period (SEP) through Washington Healthplanfinder for coverage beginning May 1, 2020.
“Now is the time to sign up for health coverage if you are currently uninsured,” said Exchange Chief Executive Officer Pam MacEwan, “There are many resources available to help individuals understand their options and secure health coverage before the special enrollment period ends.”
Individuals who need help signing up for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder may contact the Customer Support Center between 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at 1-855-923-4633; TTY: 855-627-9604. They may also contact an Exchange certified Navigator, Broker, or Enrollment center who can answer insurance questions and help with enrollment. Free help from local experts is accessible via the WAPlanfinder Mobile App or by visiting: https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org/_content/find-expert-advice.html.
Over 19,500 have signed up for coverage since the Exchange announced a special enrollment period in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on March 10. This includes 7,000 uninsured Washington residents who have come in through the COVID-19 special enrollment period, and 12,500 additional customers who have come in through a qualifying life event.
The Exchange is also reminding people that even after May 8, individuals who have recently lost their job or their employer coverage, have experienced a change in income, or experienced another qualifying event can continue to visit WAHealthplanfinder.org or use the WAPlanfinder Mobile App to sign up online.
“An unprecedented number of people in our state are losing their employer sponsored health coverage. Those Washingtonians will continue to have free and low-cost coverage options available to them through Washington Healthplanfinder,” said Chief Marketing Officer Michael Marchand.
Additional qualifying life events that may open a special enrollment period include:
- Marriage, birth of a child, or move within the state
- Purchased coverage through a health sharing ministry that has received a cease and desist order from the Washington office of Insurance Commissioner for fraudulent activity or
- Purchased full price coverage outside the Exchange marketplace, who due to a change in income could now benefit from federal subsidies available exclusively through Washington Healthplanfinder.
In some cases, individuals may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) that is available year-round on Washington Healthplanfinder.
Coverage You Can Count On
Insurance companies providing coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder have agreed to cover cost sharing related to the testing and treatment of COVID-19.
Contact your health insurance provider directly for more information about:
- How COVID-19 impacts your coverage
- Telehealth appointments
- Payment options or grace periods
- Benefits related to COVID-19
For more information about coverage options visit WAHealthplanfinder.org.
Reminders: Enrollment is offered year-round to individuals and families through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid).
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 qualified health and dental plans open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder begins on Nov. 1, 2020.
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, such as 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.