Washington Healthplan Finder

Affordable Care Act
2:31 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

On Last Day Of Enrollment, Shoppers Rush To Sign Up For Health Insurance

Ingrid Nielsen, a volunteer with Public Health Seattle & King County, is seen helping directing people to the enrollment event.
Gabriel Spitzer

Midnight Monday marks the end of the first open enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. That means most people without insurance come Tuesday will have to wait seven months to sign up.

In spite of some outages, last-minute shoppers have mobbed the websites for state and federal exchanges. And they also showed up in person at King County’s public health headquarters for an eleventh-hour enrollment event.

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Affordable Care Act
4:52 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Wash. Health Exchange Beefs Up Call Center For March Rush, Warns Of Long Hold Times

This screen grab shows Washington Healthplanfinder's website.

Washington’s health insurance exchange has ramped up its customer-service call center in anticipation of a big surge in enrollments this month. But callers should still hunker down for a long wait.

The Spokane-based call center got an average of more than 40,000 calls a day in January, but managed to answer just 15 percent of them. Of the rest, the vast majority got a message telling them to give up and call back later, while others hung up due to wait times that averaged 40 minutes or more.

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Affordable Care Act
5:01 am
Mon November 18, 2013

For the 'Unbanked' in Wash., a Barrier to Accessing Obamacare

Patrick Semansky Associated Press

Washington’s health exchange has been a bright spot in the slipshod rollout of Obamacare, but one requirement for signing up could be a barrier to the very people the new law is supposed to serve.

To sign up for coverage on WAHealthPlanFinder.org, you have to make your first payment by credit card, debit card or electronic funds transfer from a bank account.

But recent studies show about one-fourth of Washington households are either “unbanked” with no access to an account, or “underbanked" with limited access. The number of those affected is even higher in low-income and minority communities to which many of the exchange’s target audience belong.

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Affordable Care Act
2:05 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

No Health Care Policy Extensions in Wash. State

File image
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Washington state’s insurance commissioner says he will not allow companies to extend canceled policies. State commissioners are able to overrule the concession President Barack Obama announced Thursday.

Commissioner Mike Kreidler said allowing people to keep their old plans would warp the whole marketplace.

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Affordable Care Act
2:57 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Wash. Behind Only Calif., N.Y. in Health Care Sign-Ups

Associated Press

New federal statistics show Washington state has signed more people up for health insurance since open enrollment began Oct. 1 than any state other than New York and California.

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Affordable Care Act
3:28 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Despite D.C. 'Shenanigans,' Wash. to Launch Health Exchange

Nelly Kinsella demonstrates the Washington Healthplanfinder website, where consumers will be able to shop for health insurance, following a news conference Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, in Seattle.
Elaine Thompson AP Photo

Even as Congress squabbles over the fate of health care reform, Washington’s insurance marketplace opens its virtual doors Tuesday morning.

As Gov. Jay Inslee put it, "Despite the shenanigans in D.C., we're ready to [launch our health care exchange].”

Officials running the exchange said their federal grants have already been appropriated and they expect to be fully funded through next year.

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health care reform
4:51 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

Small businesses in Washington lose out on subsidized health plans

Veronica Rios, left, has her blood pressure taken by medical assistant Elizabeth Garza, center,as Rios' husband, Miguel Tamayo, and their daughter Paula look on at right, at the Country Doctor Community Clinic in Seattle, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011.
Ted S. Warren Associated Press

Small businesses in Washington state will not be able to participate in the new health care law, because not enough insurance companies were willing to sell them coverage. 

The biggest part of Pres. Barack Obama’s new health care law is aimed at people with no health insurance. Starting this fall, they’ll be able to buy individual health policies from an online system where they can compare prices. It's also where you can get subsidies for insurance. In Washington state, it's called Washington HealthPlan Finder.

If you work for a business with fewer than 50 employees, the law says your employer has the option of getting insurance for low and middle-income workers—with subsidies. That won’t happen in Washington, at least not on time.

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