Washington: @WAPlanFinder enrolls 208,000 in #ACA plans in first week (presumably including auto-renewals)

Washington HealthPlan Finder

via the Washington HealthPlan Finder:

Over 208,000 Washington Residents Sign Up During First Week of Washington Healthplanfinder Open Enrollment

  • Most customers can save by comparing plans

The annual open enrollment period for Washingtonians seeking health care coverage in 2022 began Monday, Nov. 1. Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) reports over 208,000 customers in Washington have already secured health coverage for 2022 through Washington Healthplanfinder, the state’s online insurance marketplace.

This may look like a jaw-dropping number for the first week for a state with 7.6 million residents, but it's important to keep in mind that this almost certainly includes auto-renewed enrollees. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that Washington State had 210,000 residents enrolled in ACA exchange plans as of August; assuming a bit more attrition since then, it's safe to assume that a good 200K or so of the 208K reported today are current enrollees who were either actively or automatically renewed for 2022. Nothing wrong with this, of course, just important to know the context.

For comparison, during the 2021 Open Enrollment Period, WA HealthPlanFinder enrolled 262,000 people total, then added another 52,000 during the COVID Special Enrollment Period.

Recent changes to federal law, including the American Rescue Plan Act, have increased savings available to Washington Healthplanfinder customers. Currently, three out of every four customers in Washington receive federal assistance which lowers their premiums by more than $300 per month on average.

Customers are encouraged to visit wahealthplanfinder.org to shop and compare available plans. 78% of current customers have a lower cost option available in 2022. Customers who shop and compare could save an additional $660 per year on average.

Washington Healthplanfinder customers have many plan options to choose from. During this year’s open enrollment period, 120 health plans from 12 carriers are available across the state. The Exchange encourages all existing customers and those who are without health care coverage to visit wahealthplanfinder.org to compare and find the best plan for them by Dec. 15 for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

Some of the easiest options to compare are Cascade Care plans, which take the guesswork out of plan selection by offering the same benefits and cost-sharing across carriers within each metal level so that customers can distinguish plans based on premium, quality, and customer service. Cascade Care plans feature deductibles that are on average $1,000 less than non-standardized plans, and they cover more services prior to meeting a deductible, including primary care visits, mental health services, and generic drugs.

Washington Healthplanfinder offers a wide range of resources to help people navigate their coverage options – including in-person enrollment centers, video call 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.

Customers can also contact an Exchange certified Navigator, Broker, or Enrollment center in their area who can answer insurance questions and help with enrollment. Free help from local experts is accessible via the WAPlanfinder App or by visiting wahealthplanfinder.org.

During open enrollment the Customer Support Center will be open and ready to receive calls from 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. Monday – Friday. The Customer Support Center is closed on weekends and holidays except for extended hours on the following days:

  • Thursday, Nov.11 (Veteran’s Day) open 7:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 15 (last day to enroll for coverage beginning Jan. 1) open 7:30 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 15 (last day of open enrollment) open 10:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.