FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 30, 2021
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) reports that tens of thousands of Washingtonians now pay less each month for healthcare coverage. Within two months of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) becoming federal law, the Exchange passed on the expanded savings it made available to new and current customers on the state’s insurance marketplace, Washington Healthplanfinder.
“There has never been a better time to sign up for healthcare coverage in Washington,” said Pam MacEwan, Chief Executive Officer of the Exchange. “We’ve been hearing from people across the state who are saving hundreds or in some cases more than a thousand dollars per month.”
Tracy Roberts from Seattle posted to Facebook, “I just opened my bill for July and it’s $242 less than I presently pay . . . That’s incredible! Absolutely incredible and completely unexpected. Life will be a little easier for now.”
The latest report from the Exchange shows that customers are saving more than $90 per month on average, with maximum savings available to those reporting unemployment income. The report also highlights that 35,000 Washington Healthplanfinder customers now pay less than $2 per month for health insurance.
The current special enrollment period allows anyone without coverage to sign up and offers existing customers the chance to compare and upgrade their coverage using their newly available savings. Those who sign up through Washington Healthplanfinder by July 15, can get coverage starting August 1.
“There are a lot of new plans available. Many customers in a Bronze level plan are discovering that a Cascade Care Silver or Gold level plan is more affordable than ever with these additional savings,” MacEwan said, referring to plans offered on the Exchange which feature lower deductibles and fewer out-of-pocket costs.
One customer in Snohomish County reported being able to switch to more comprehensive coverage and still save $100 a month. Their prescription medication had become so expensive they had stopped taking it. During the special enrollment period, they upgraded from a Bronze to a Silver plan which cost $100 less per month and made their medication more affordable.
Customers seeking coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder can contact an Exchange certified Broker, Navigator, enrollment center or 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 to initiate coverage (closed July 5). Free help from local experts is accessible by visiting Washington Healthplanfinder. Extended special enrollment is through August 15 allowing people additional time to sign up for health insurance.
Reminders: Enrollment is offered year-round to individuals and families through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid). Customers enrolled in Apple Health will receive a notice of 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 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 current special enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder began on February 15 ends on August 15. Enrollment reports and data are available from Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
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, 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