Enrollees in WA Health Insurance Exchange Hits 65,000

By Steve Jackson

Officials with the Washington state health exchange say it’s not too late for those without health insurance to sign up for coverage. Some 65,000 individuals in Washington State were able to sign up and pay for health coverage that will start on January 1st.

Michael Marchand of the Washington Health exchange says his agency is also working to help 69,000 others who started the process, but were unable to finish by December 23rd get signed up for coverage. Marchard says "we’ve been in contact with a number of those folks because, as you can imagine, some of them, through no fault of their own, ran into hurdles in completing their application, and we want to make sure if they want coverage by January first they can get that.”
 
Marchand says they have set up a new deadline of January 15th for those folks to get their application processed, and still get coverage retroactive to January first. He says many of the web site problems that folks encountered have been fixed, and more people should be able to get through on the telephone assistance lines. And Marchand says those who didn’t start the process by the December 23rd deadline still have time to sign up for coverage:

Marchand: “For those individuals if they qualify for health insurance they can still purchase a plan under the exchange until March 31st.For many of these individuals they can still take advantage of the tax credit option to offset some of the cost related to their premium.”

Marchand says the coverage will start the first day of the following month after they sign up. In addition to the 134 thousand that completed or neared completion to sign up for subsidized heath care through the exchange, another 100 thousand were able to sign up for free health care through expanded Medicaid coverage in Washington state.

Before the Exchange started it was estimated there were about one million uninsured Washington state residents.
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