Sign Up Deadline Looming for Health Insurance
By Steve Jackson
Washington state residents still have until the end of the month to sign up for health insurance under the state’s health exchange. Washington Health Plan Finder has made exceptional progress in getting health coverage for many of the state’s uninsured, estimated at about a million people before the Affordable Care Act went into effect.
The Region 10 director for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says Washington state's signup rate has surpassed other states in the region that includes Idaho, Oregon and Alaska.
Susan Johnson: “I call Washington the north star in the states in region ten, there are high Medicaid numbers over 300, and 100,000 in the Medicaid plan, so over 325,000 signed up right now.”
Susan Johnson says many of the problems experienced at the state website have been taken care of, although there are still some details that have slowed down the sign up experience for those who have used in -person assisters, rather than the phone line.
Johnson: "The in person assisters don’t have access to the detail on screen that the call center people do, so they have to call the call center for multiple situations that are identical, wait in line, and that jams the call center, so were hoping by the next sign up period they have access to similar screens.”
The deadline to sign up for one of the private health insurance plans is March 31st, but Johnson reminds residents there is no deadline if someone would like to qualify for Medicaid, since the state opted to expand that program.