The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is reminding customers that 10 p.m. tonight is the deadline to sign up for health and dental plans that begin on Feb. 1.
Residents who secure coverage after tonight’s deadline will have until the close of open enrollment – Jan. 31, 2017 – to sign up for plans. That coverage would begin March 1.
“Any coverage purchased for the 2017 plan year will be good for the remainder of the year,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “We want to make sure that individuals and families take action in time and that they receive the assistance they need to help them through the process.”
The Exchange’s Customer Support Center (1-855-923-4633) is hosting extended hours from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. tonight to answer questions leading up to the deadline. In-person assistance is also available throughout the state and can be located by clicking the “Customer Support” link on www.wahealthplanfinder.org or visiting one of the new full-service enrollment centers. Additional call center hours (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) are also being added this weekend to help those seeking coverage before the end of open enrollment on Tuesday, Jan. 31.
To bolster awareness efforts of the upcoming open enrollment deadline among younger consumers, the Exchange is collaborating with the Sasquatch! Music Festival on the first-ever Sasquatch! Music Festival Lineup Launch promotion. This interactive scavenger hunt informs people of new health insurance options and offered early access to the Official 2017 Sasquatch! Festival Lineup Announce Video.
“With days remaining until the deadline, it is increasingly important that the message of health and dental coverage reaches those ‘young invincibles’ who have not yet signed up,” said Michael Marchand, Director of Communications and Outreach for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Innovative projects like the Sasquatch! Music Festival Lineup Launch allow us to connect with this audience at critical points in the enrollment period, like this final week leading up to Jan. 31.”
“Young invincibles” are defined as individuals who are 18-34 years of age. This year the Exchange has seen a 15 percent increase in enrollment in that demographic. Last week the Exchange reported that more than 200,000 customers had already secured health and dental plans through Washington Healthplanfinder, a 14 percent boost over the previous year.
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. Small business owners have the option of enrolling year-round through Washington Healthplanfinder Business.
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. The open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder is underway now and extends through Jan. 31, 2017.
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.