In response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in Washington state, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange announced it is extending the current special enrollment period for individuals who are uninsured.
The original special enrollment period, which ran from March 10 through April 8, will now continue through May 8, 2020. Coverage will start May 1, 2020 for customers who enroll after April 8.
“We continue to see a steady number of people seeking health coverage,” said Exchange Chief Executive Officer Pam MacEwan. “Washington has been hit hard by the pandemic and the next several weeks will be challenging. We want to be sure that health insurance is available for those who need it.
“It is critically important to provide extra time for people to gain health coverage for themselves, and their families,” she added.
Since March 10, more than 4,000 uninsured individuals have requested a special open enrollment with over 2,500 having completed their enrollment for coverage starting April 1.
To request a special enrollment or to report a change in income, contact an enrollment center, broker, or navigator to initially request. These insurance experts are available by phone to answer questions, assist in reporting a change in income, and get consumers enrolled in the right health plan. Consumers can find contact information here. Consumers can also contact the Customer Support Center from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday- Friday at 1-855-923-4633; TTY: 855-627-9604. Language assistance and disability accommodations are provided at no cost.
In addition, current customers seeing income changes due to a reduction in work hours during the COVID-19 state of emergency or anyone who has lost employment altogether should report income changes. They may be eligible for Washington Apple Health or increased subsidy assistance to pay for premiums. More information is available here.
Those who experience a qualifying event (such as loss of income, loss of health insurance coverage, marriage, birth of a child or a move) are eligible to shop for coverage and/or those who qualify for Medicaid through Washington Apple Healthis available year-round on Washington Healthplanfinder.
For more information and frequently asked questions, visit www.wahbexchange.org/coronavirus-faqs/.