Washington State: @WAPlanFinder jumps on board the #COVID19 SEP train thru 5/15

via the Washington Health Benefit Exchange:

Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) announced today it will open a special enrollment period that parallels the new federal enrollment period which runs from Feb. 15 through May 15, 2021.

“Having health insurance is critically important in these challenging times of COVID,” said Chief Executive Officer Pam MacEwan. “Opening a corresponding special enrollment period in our state gives more uninsured Washingtonians the chance to get needed coverage for 2021.”

The special enrollment period will apply to anyone seeking health insurance coverage. Individuals shopping for coverage during this special enrollment period that select coverage by the 15th of the month will begin receiving coverage the first of the following month.

The wording of this is important. Colorado's just-announced COVID19 SEP is apparently only for those currently not enrolled in ACA-compliant coverage; Washington State's appears to be for anyone who'd otherwise be eligible during Open Enrollment, which amounts to the same thing as full Open Enrollment. That means even those who are already enrolled in an ACA exchange plan will be able to switch to a different plan mid-year.

It is expected that Healthcare.gov, the Federal Exchange, will sponsor extensive national outreach and advertising which will assist in getting the word out to Washingtonians.

Enrollment is offered year-round on Washington Healthplanfinder to individuals and families who qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid).

Customers seeking coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder need to contact an Exchange certified Broker, Navigator, Enrollment center or by contacting 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. Free help from local experts is accessible by visiting here.

In the most recent open enrollment period that ended Jan. 15, over 222,000 Washingtonians selected a 2021 health plan through Washington Healthplanfinder. More than 2 million Washingtonians in 2020 used the state’s health insurance marketplace to get coverage.

Reminders: Enrollment is offered year-round to individuals and families through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid).