State health exchange offers special enrollment period due to virus


OLYMPIA, Wash. – The coronavirus outbreak has prompted the state Health Benefit Exchange to offer a limited-time special enrollment period for qualified individuals who are currently without insurance.

The special enrollment period runs through April 8 and will allow uninsured individuals 30 days to enroll in health insurance coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.

Until April 8, individuals seeking a special enrollment must contact the Customer Support Center between 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at 1-855-923-4633; TTY: 1-855-627-9604, or a local certified broker or navigator.

Those individuals can then request the special enrollment period and select a plan by April 8 for a coverage start date beginning April 1.

RELATED: Coronavirus Guide: Staying up-to-date on cases, who to call and how to prepare

“It is apparent that many in our state have been exposed to this virus and that health insurance will be critical to those seeking treatment,” said Exchange Chief Executive Officer Pam MacEwan.

“Individuals need to have peace of mind to take care of all health needs, especially if they are at a high risk. Given today’s exceptional circumstances we are enabling those who are uninsured to enroll and gain access to the vital services they may need,” McEwan added.

Customers who experience another qualifying event, such as marriage, birth of a child or a move, are also eligible to shop for coverage and/or those who qualify for Medicaid through Washington Apple Health is available year round on Washington Healthplanfinder.

In addition, enrollment is offered year-round to individuals and families through Medicaid, known in this state as Washington Apple Health. Free or low-cost coverage is available year-round for those who qualify.

RELATED: Governor bans large gatherings in great Seattle area

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 regular health and dental plans open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder begins on Nov. 1, 2020.

This story first appeared on 

RELATED: March Sadness: NCAA says no fans allowed at upcoming basketball tournaments

READ:  Is it allergies, the flu, or coronavirus? How to tell the difference