What You Need To Know
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a program that allows many Washington residents to access health insurance coverage at an affordable rate and, in some instances, at no cost. The ACA was created to ensure most can get the healthcare they need. You cannot be denied health insurance coverage due to a sickness or prior health issue.
Starting in CY2021, the Exchange plans offer more options for insurance coverage through the Washington Healthplanfinder. Beyond the typical plan selection, the Exchange is introducing Cascade Care. Cascade Care launches Washington State on the path to achievable universal care. Like the typical Exchange plans, the plans may allow you to receive federal subsidies for premiums through the exchange, with the subsidy level declining as income rises.
Cascade Care has two types of plans:
- Standard Plans offer more benefits with just a copay instead of having to meet your deductible first. These plans typically offer a lower deductible with more transparent, predictable cost-sharing.
- Public Option Plans (also referred to as Standard Plans Plus or Select) takes the Cascade Care Standard Plans a step further. These Public Option plans may cost less because they will cap aggregate statewide provider reimbursement rates at 160% of Medicare rates. The Health Care Authority is partnering with the Exchange to establish public option plans.
Lower Premiums Under the American Rescue Plan Act and Washington’s Cascade Care Bill
Under the new American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Washingtonians will find that the cost of their health insurance that is purchased on the Health Benefit Exchange, is temporarily more affordable. For the next two years, ARPA allows those with income up to 150% of federal poverty to get silver plans at $0 premiums and with reduced deductibles, for those with income up to 400% of federal poverty there are increased premium subsidies, and for those with income above 400% of federal poverty they are newly eligible for premium subsidies. There are also enhanced subsidies for those who are recently unemployed, and temporary COBRA premium subsidies for 2021. Washingtonians can find out if they qualify by checking options on Washington Healthplanfinder (WAhealthplanfinder.org) or contact an Exchange certified Navigator, enrollment center, or the Customer Support Center (1.855.923.4633). Read more Frequently Asked Questions on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
Important Enrollment Information
Health Benefits Exchange 2021 Insurers
Exchange plans are offered by the following companies (listed alphabetically, by county):
- BridgeSpan Health Company: Benton, Clark, Columbia, Franklin, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Klickitat, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Walla Walla, Yakima
- Community Health Plan of Washington: Chelan, Douglas, Grant, Kitsap, Kittitas, Okanogan, Pierce, Spokane, Yakima
- Coordinated Care (Ambetter): Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Columbia, Douglas, Ferry, Franklin, Garfield, Grant, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Walla Walla, Whitman, Yakima
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest: Clark, Cowlitz
- Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington (formerly Group Health Cooperative): Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Island, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Lewis, Mason, Pierce, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Walla Walla, Whatcom, Whitman, Yakima
- LifeWise Health Plan of Washington: Adams, Asotin, Benton, Chelan, Clallam, Clark, Columbia, Cowlitz, Doulas, Ferry, Garfield, Grant, Island, Jefferson, King, Kittitas, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston, Walla Walla, Whatcom, Whitman, Yakima
- Molina HealthCare of Washington: Clark, Ferry, King, Klickitat, Lincoln, Mason, Pend Oreille, Pierce, Skamania, Snohomish, Spokane, Stevens, Thurston
- PacificSource Health Plans: Clark, Pierce, Spokane, Thurston
- Premera Blue Cross: Franklin, Grays Harbor, King, Kitsap, Pacific, Skamania, Wahkiakum
- Providence Health Plan: Benton, Clark, Franklin, Spokane, Thurston, Walla Walla
- Regence BlueCross BlueShield: Clark
- Regence BlueShield of Washington: Clallam, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Island, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Klickitat, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Pierce, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston, Wahkiakum, Whatcom, Yakima
- United Healthcare: Adams, Clallam, Jefferson, King, Kittitas, Lincoln, Mason, Pierce, Whitman, Yakima
"In-Network" Access to UW Medicine
How to Sign Up
- Online: visit Washington Healthplanfinder
- Find and sign up for the health insurance plan that is best for you or your family.
- Figure out how much your qualified health plan might cost you.
- Find out what is covered by a basic level of health insurance.
- doctor and emergency room visits
- care for children (including dental and eye care)
- maternity and newborn care
- preventive care like cancer screenings and immunizations
- and much more!
- By Phone: Washington Healthplanfinder offers customer support to help you get the information you need to enroll in health coverage that best meets your needs and your budget. A trained representative will help educate you about your options and walk you through the enrollment process. The Washington Healthplanfinder Customer Support Center is open to enroll individuals, families and small businesses in quality health coverage and answer questions about financial help and the enrollment process. Toll-free support is available Monday through Friday. Call 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633) or TTY/TDD 1-855-627-9604.
- At UW Medicine Hospitals: Harborview Medical Center, UW Medical Center-Montlake, UW Medical Center-Northwest and Valley Medical Center have staff on-site to help you sign up. Call ahead to schedule your appointment if you plan to come to one of the enrollment sites.
- At UW Neighborhood Clinics: You can utilize Harborview or UW Medical Centers for assistance with questions or enrollment.
Enrollment Assistance, Questions, and Appointment Scheduling
UW Medicine is here to help you understand your healthcare coverage options so you can make an informed selection regarding your healthcare. Please call to schedule an appointment for assistance with your application or if you have questions:
- Harborview Medical Center and UW Medical Center: 206-744-3084, option 2
- Valley Medical Center: 425-656-5599 or 425-690-3578, option 5
Before you begin, make sure you have information for all household members applying for coverage:
- Legal names
- Family relationships for each member of the family unit
- Birth dates
- Identification numbers (Social Security Number or immigration information)
- Proof of immigration status if you're a legal permanent resident
- Proof of tribal status if you're a registered American Indian/Alaska Native
- Income before taxes
- Proof of income if your income has changed since you last filed taxes
- Tax filing status: this is what you report on your IRS tax form
- Current health insurance information (coverage dates, group number and policy number)
- Open Enrollment Renewal letter from the Washington Exchange (if applicable)