Washington State: @WAPlanFinder announces 210K enrollees to date; reminds residents to #GetCovered by Jan. 15th!

via the Washington Health Benefit Exchange:

Washington Healthplanfinder Sees Surge in Customers as Final 2021 Deadline Approaches

  • Select a plan by Jan. 15 for coverage that begins Feb. 1

People statewide flocked to Washington Healthplanfinder this week to beat the Dec. 15 deadline for health coverage that would start the first of the year. With that date now passed, Washingtonians still seeking 2021 health coverage have until Jan 15, 2021 to shop on Washington Healthplanfinder for coverage that begins February 1.

“We were glad to see the large number of enrollees come in and secure coverage that starts Jan. 1,” said Chief Executive Officer Pam MacEwan. “This year, in response to the public health emergency, we are providing additional time for those who didn’t enroll prior to Dec. 15 to sign up for 2021 coverage over the next month.”

As of Dec. 16, about 210,000 Washingtonians have signed up for 2021 coverage, including almost 30,000 new customers. Among new customers, 41% have selected a Cascade Care plan. Cascade Care plans cover more services prior to meeting a deductible, including primary care visits, mental health services, and generic drugs. Customers who need to renew their plan for 2021 can sign in to their Washington Healthplanfinder account using the WaPlanfinder Mobile App or on WAHealthplanfinder.org and easily update and renew their coverage. Additionally, some customers may find that they qualify for free or low-cost coverage.

41% of 30,000 = roughly 12,300 people enrolling in Cascade Care plans. This includes the much-ballyhooed "Public Option"...except that it's actually a subset of that. As WA Planfinder noted in an earlier press release:

Customers will know they are choosing a Cascade or Cascade Select plan, thanks to the newly designed Cascade Care logo. The name of each plan will indicate whether it is a Cascade (standard) or Cascade Select (public option) plan.

"Cascade Care" plans have things like deductibles, co-pays etc. standardized, which is a good thing...but the "Cascade" plans are still not the same as the Public Option plans. I don't know how many of those 12,300 are "Select" yet.

Washington Healthplanfinder offers a wide range of resources to help people navigate their coverage options – including in-person enrollment centers, virtual video or phone assistance, and the WAPlanfinder Mobile App. Anyone requiring help signing up for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder may contact the Customer Support Center 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 WAHealthPlanFinder.org.

During the 2021 open enrollment period, the Customer Support Center is open 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. Additionally, extended hours scheduled:

December

  • Thursday, December 24, 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 31, 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

January

  • Saturday, January 9, 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, January 14, 7:30 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.
  • Friday, January 15, 7:30 a.m. – 11: 59 p.m.

Reminders: Enrollment is offered year-round on Washington Healthplanfinder 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 Healthplanfinderfrom Nov. 1, 2020 to Jan. 15, 2021.

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 passed in 2010, 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: HCA.WA.Gov.