Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Sept. 22, 2021

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Health overhaul Round 2 begins

Open enrollment, chance to change coverage start Saturday on state exchange

By , Columbian Health Reporter

Saturday begins open season for health insurance in Washington

Open enrollment for health plans on the state-based insurance exchange begins Saturday, giving Washington residents who purchased plans last year their first opportunity to make changes to their coverage.

The open enrollment period, which runs through Feb. 15, is also when uninsured residents can purchase coverage and avoid fines. Those who are uninsured in 2015 will pay a penalty of either 2 percent of their income or $325 per adult, whichever is greater.

The exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder, will offer Clark County residents 31 individual health plans from six insurers: BridgeSpan Health Company, LifeWise Health Plan of Washington, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, Community Health Plan of Washington, Columbia United Providers and Moda Health Plan.

For coverage to begin Jan. 1, health plan payments must be made by 4:59 p.m. Dec. 23.

Clark County Public Health and its local partners are hosting a series of events during the next couple of months to help residents navigate the exchange,

In-person assistants will provide one-on-one help at each of the events. Assistants cannot, however, make plan recommendations.

Here is the event schedule:

o Sea Mar Community Health Center, 7410 E. Delaware Lane, Vancouver, 360-896-5128.

Spanish language interpreter available.

• 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

• 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 22.

o Vancouver Community Library, 1901 C St., Vancouver, 360-906-5106.

Spanish language interpreter available.

• 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday.

• 3 to 6 p.m. Jan. 15.

o Battle Ground Community Library, 1207 S.E. Eighth Way, 360-687-2322.

• 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 4.

• 3 to 6 p.m. Jan. 8.

• 3 to 6 p.m. Feb. 5.

o Cascade Park Community Library, 600 N.E. 136th Ave., Vancouver, 360-256-7782.

Spanish language interpreter available.

• 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 11.

• 9 a.m. to noon and 3 to 6 p.m. Dec. 18.

• 3 to 6 p.m. Jan. 22.

For a list of local agencies with in-person assistants, visit the Clark County Public Health website,

After open enrollment ends Feb. 15, only people with qualifying life events — such as marriage, divorce, having a baby, no longer qualifying for a parent’s health insurance or moving to a new state — will be eligible to enroll in a health plan. Otherwise, open enrollment won’t begin again until next fall.

Columbian Health Reporter