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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Oct. 21, 3:30 pm PST

Washington Healthplanfinder Builds on Strong Start: 35,000 Enrollments Since Oct. 1 Launch

Washington State marketplace sees 30 percent increase in health coverage sign-ups

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Healthplanfinder today announced 35,000 residents have enrolled in health coverage since Oct. 1. An additional 56,000 residents have completed online applications that are awaiting payment due in December.

“It’s clear that residents here in Washington are very interested in this new opportunity and the health insurance options that are available,” said Richard Onizuka. “We are continuing to reach out to individuals through a statewide advertising campaign, our community partners and insurance brokers and most recently our mobile enrollment tour, which kicked off last week.”

The Customer Support Center has continued to see higher than expected call volumes due to strong consumer interest. Residents may also find in-person help via the Customer Support Link on www.wahealthplanfinder.org or receive a call back from the Customer Support Center when a representative is available.

“We’re pleased by the strong response of Medicaid-eligible residents, with more than 30,000 new enrollments over the first 20 days of October,” said Dorothy Teeter, Director of the Health Care Authority. “About two-thirds of them are qualifying under the Medicaid expansion to new adults, which goes into effect on Jan. 1 of 2014.”

Updated numbers since the Oct. 1 launch include:

Web and Call Center Data

Unique Visitors

362,879

Total Site Visits

1,946,126

Page Views

 7,921,251

Unique Page Views

5,703,091

Accounts Created

89,273

Call Center Volume

65,634

Average Call Center Wait Times

21 min

                         

Enrollments Completed

Qualified Health Plans

4,529

Medicaid Newly Eligible/Coverage Jan. 1

19,658

Medicaid/Immediate coverage

11,341

Total

35,528

 

Total Completed Applications

Total Applications

40,400

 

Total Applicants Included on Applications Completed

Qualified Health Plan Applicants – QHP Only

16,699

Qualified Health Plan/Medicaid Mixed*

39,446

Medicaid Applicants Only

13,816

Total Applicants**

69,822

Note: Applications completed includes individuals who have completed applications but have not yet submitted payment. Payment is due on Dec. 23, 2013 for coverage that begins on Jan. 1, 2014.

*Qualified Health Plan/Medicaid Mixed indicates applications in which at least one individual on the application is purchasing a Qualified Health Plan while others may be eligible for Medicaid.

**This number references the total number of individual applicants included on all applications.

“While we are pleased with our enrollment numbers, we are still ironing out some kinks and bugs in our system,” said Onizuka. “Our staff is continuing to adjust our marketplace to better meet the needs of our customers, as well as resource additional staff members to decrease our Customer Support Center wait times.”

For users who are unable to complete an application online at wahealthplanfinder.org, please visit the Washington Healthplanfinder “Quick Tips” page on the Washington Healthplanfinder Status Center.  If children, pregnant women and family Medicaid applicants are unable to complete an application online, they can access a paper application through the Health Care Authority website.

For more information about Washington Healthplanfinder and to enroll in health coverage, please visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org.

CONTACTS
Washington Healthplanfinder, Bethany Frey, (360) 688-7752

Washington Health Care Authority, Jim Stevenson, (360) 725-1915

About Washington Healthplanfinder

Washington Healthplanfinder will be a new online marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses 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. Washington Healthplanfinder began enrolling consumers on Oct. 1, 2013, for health insurance coverage beginning on Jan. 1, 2014. The open enrollment period extends through March 31, 2014.

About the Washington Health Benefit Exchange

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is a public-private partnership established in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) with the goal to redefine people’s experience with health care through the creation of a new health insurance marketplace for individuals and small businesses. The Exchange is separate from the state and governed by an independent 11-member board appointed by former Gov. Chris Gregoire in Dec. 2011.

About Health Care Authority

The Health Care Authority includes the two largest state health care purchasing programs – Apple Health (Medicaid) and Public Employees Benefits system, which handles state employee benefits. Under Medicaid expansion, income eligibility guidelines will increase to 138% of the federal poverty level effective Jan. 1, 2014, increasing state Medicaid rolls by an estimated 328,000 individuals.

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