OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gov. Jay Inslee and the Washington Health Benefit Exchange are urging Washingtonians to sign up for a Qualified Health Plan through www.wahealthplanfinder.org by the end of open enrollment this coming Sunday, Feb. 15. Residents must select and pay for a Qualified Health Plan by Feb. 15 at 9:59 p.m. for coverage that begins on March 1, 2015.
Interest has spiked over the past several days with an additional 7,000 enrolled in Qualified Health Plans, for a total of 139,000 currently enrolled. Nearly 640,000 Washingtonians have signed up for a Qualified Health Plan or under Medicaid expansion through Washington Healthplanfinder.
Since the Exchange launched last year, almost every county in Washington State has seen a drop in the rate of their uninsured.
“On a national level, Washington State continues to have one of the highest reductions in its uninsured rate,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “This shows that the Affordable Care Act is working and Washingtonians are benefiting from free or low-cost health insurance options. And the good news is that there’s still time to sign up for those who haven’t yet taken action.”
The Exchange is also reminding residents that under the Affordable Care Act, those who aren’t covered in 2015 will face a penalty next year through the Internal Revenue Service of $325 per individual or up to 2 percent of your income, whichever is greater. This means that the penalty for a family of four with an annual income of $60,000 will total approximately $1,000 next year.
“It’s not too late to sign up for 2015 health coverage,” said Richard Onizuka, CEO for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “We want to help Washingtonians avoid the increased penalty in 2016 by helping them review their options and choose a health plan that’s right for them.”
The Exchange is connecting residents with last-minute resources to get enrolled this week, including in-person assistance through navigators and insurance brokers, local enrollment events and additional hours at the toll-free Customer Support Center on Feb. 14 from 7:30 am to 4 pm and Feb. 15 from 7:30 am to 10 pm. Enrollment events are taking place this weekend in downtown Seattle, the Federal Way Commons Mall and the Vancouver Mall. To view the complete schedule of events, click here.
Residents who would like to enroll in health coverage may visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org.
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 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 open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder began on Nov. 15, 2014 for health coverage starting on Jan. 1, 2015. The open enrollment period ends on 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.