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One Month Behind Us:50,000 Enrolled and Counting


From the Desk of Richard Onizuka, CEO for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange

It is hard to believe that today marks one month into our six month open enrollment period for quality health care coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder. The past 31 days have been historic, exciting, and challenging.

With four weeks behind us, our State has been able to enroll nearly 50,000 individuals, families and small businesses in new health insurance options with access to financial help, as well as draw nearly 70,000 additional applicants who have completed applications that are awaiting payment due in December. We couldn’t be more thrilled to see this level of interest from residents here in Washington.

While our roll-out hasn’t been perfect, thousands of families will now be able to access health care for the first time starting Jan. 1, 2014. The true success of our project is not in the technology behind our online system or a polished advertising campaign, but in the direct impact these new benefits can have for our friends, family and neighbors.

One of those individuals who comes to mind is Jessica Lawson, a woman who was able to enroll in health coverage during our mobile enrollment tour kick-off in Spokane. Before these new benefits were available, Jessica was unable to access medical coverage or her needed medication for two years. Her story, like many across the state, is unique and inspiring. It’s what this effort is all about.

Many have asked what success will ultimately look like for Washington Healthplanfinder. We’ll have more comprehensive information about enrollment numbers in early January, but the good news is that we still have five months to continue to drive awareness and get residents here covered.

Looking forward, our immediate goals are to iron out bugs and error codes that have complicated the application process for some of our customers, as well as alleviate wait times at our Customer Support Center by adding new staff members over the next several weeks. We know the experience has been frustrating for these customers and we are committed to doing better. We will continue to monitor our system and make improvements as needed.

Thank you again to everyone on this distribution who has added to this project’s success. Let’s continue this great work together.


Mobile Enrollment Tour Visits Tacoma Mall on Nov. 2

Washington Healthplanfinder’s statewide mobile enrollment tour is coming to Tacoma Mall this Saturday, Nov. 2. The event, which will be held from 11 am to 3 pm, will include local in-person assisters from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Dept. and their partners who will help residents enroll in health coverage on-site.

A customized trailer, branded with images from the advertising campaign and outfitted with laptops connected to www.wahealthplanfinder.org, will be located in the eastern parking lot facing Sears and JC Penney. For more information about the event, please e-mail navigator@tpchd.org

Other upcoming stops and local lead in-person assisters include:
• November 2, Tacoma Mall: Tacoma-Pierce County Health    Department
• November 7, Everett Community College: Whatcom Alliance for Healthcare Advancement
• November 9, Kent Memorial Park Building: Public Health -- Seattle & King County
• November 12, University of Washington – Seattle Campus: Public Health -- Seattle & King County

For detailed Mobile Enrollment Event location information, please click here.

Status Page Provides System Updates and Helpful Tips

If you’re looking for tips and helpful information about completing your online application through Washington Healthplanfinder, please visit our new System Status Center. This page also includes notices of planned and completed maintenance.

To view this page, please click here.


New Resources for Insurance Brokers and Small Businesses Now Available

Washington Healthplanfinder recently launched a new Business Support Line to assist registered insurance brokers with their accounts. The new call line will also provide support to small employers through Washington Healthplanfinder Business.  Calls will be answered 8:00 am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. For more information, visit our Insurance Brokers page.

In-Person Assisters Draw Community Interest

Our 10 lead in-person assistance organizations and their network partners hit the ground running on October 1!  Some communities held large events and community rallies while other organizations focused on smaller group presentations and one-on-one appointments with consumers. You can find a list of upcoming events on our Community Events page.

To date, the Navigator program has tested and certified nearly 1,100 individuals, with new applications arriving daily. Additionally, eight Outreach Partners were recently selected to enhance and complement the efforts of the Lead Organization networks. 

For more information on these outreach partners, click here.