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State insurance exchange reports 1.6 million enrolled in plans

Numbers include public, commercially sold health policies

By , Columbian City Government Reporter

Nearly 113,000 Clark County residents enrolled in health plans through the state-based insurance exchange in the most recent open enrollment period.

Statewide, more than 1.6 million people accessed health coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31, according to the Washington Healthplanfinder’s latest enrollment report released Tuesday. The data include both people who purchased qualified health plan policies from commercial insurers and those who enrolled in Washington Apple Health, the state’s Medicaid plan.

In Clark County, 11,313 people enrolled in qualified health plans. That’s the fourth-highest enrollment number in the state, behind King, Snohomish and Pierce counties.

Clark County’s number of 101,554 who enrolled in Apple Health is fifth-highest statewide.

“These new enrollment numbers reflect the continued success of Washington Healthplanfinder in bringing affordable health coverage options to people in our state,” Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, stated in a press release.

“It also highlights the changing dynamic of the individual health insurance landscape,” she said, “and how our marketplace is playing a larger role in providing insurance than ever before.”

Highlights of the enrollment report include:

• Fewer customers are relying on subsidies. Roughly 31 percent of all enrollees selected full-price plans, using no financial help from a tax credit.

• Tax credits, when used, cut premium costs by $165. The average monthly premium payment for a qualified health plan with a tax credit was $211.57, while the average monthly cost without a tax credit was $377.49.

• More young adults are getting covered. Enrollment among people ages 18-34 increased by 16 percent since last year.

Special enrollment

Individuals or families who experience a qualifying life event may still apply for a 2016 qualified health plan. Such events include marriage, divorce, moving to a new area, the birth or adoption of a child, or a loss of health coverage due to circumstances such as termination of employment.

A short questionnaire at will show people if they qualify for special enrollment.

All residents will be able to sign up for qualified health plans during the next open enrollment period, from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31.

More information on getting health coverage outside of open enrollment is at

Columbian City Government Reporter

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