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A Stressful Year

Renews the Need for Health and Dental Coverage Evaluation

Published: December 10, 2020, 6:00am

If there’s a silver lining to 2020, it’s that the “slow down” in the pace of our personal lives has allowed more time to focus on self-care and spending time with family. As we all stay at home to avoid large social gatherings over the holidays to keep us and our loved ones safe, it’s also important to make sure we’re covered with health and dental insurance.

To keep you and your family covered this new year, you can enroll for a health or dental plan on Washington Healthplanfinder now through December 15th for coverage beginning January 1st. Although that date is rapidly approaching, there is still time for Washington residents to reevaluate what their needs are to plan for how they’re living now.

While many of us typically allow our health plans to automatically renew, it’s worth exploring other options each year to ensure we’re getting the best plan that fits the needs of each person in our family. With Washington Healthplanfinder you can access more affordable options and receive help with determining your tax credits and cost-sharing reductions to make plans more affordable.

To assist with researching your options and to accommodate last-minute health insurance shoppers, Washington Healthplanfinder extended their customer support hours. The call center will be open Saturday, December 12th and Sunday, December 13th from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. It is also extending its hours on Monday, December 14th and Tuesday, December 15th to be open from 7:30 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. — perfect for the down-to-the-wire decision-makers.

“We want to make sure there are no barriers for individuals to get coverage. We know life is busy, especially this year with parents who are still working and being teachers as well,” said Shawna Crume-Bruce, marketing manager for Washington Healthplanfinder. “There are people who work swing shifts and people who work overnight. We’ve just found that opening up those hours is helpful, especially as we get close to that looming deadline to sign-up for coverage beginning Jan. 1.”

Residents can schedule an in-person, video or phone consultation at one of Washington Healthplanfinder’s 11 full-service open enrollment centers across the state. These centers are staffed by trained and qualified employees skilled at breaking down insurance lingo such as “premiums” and “deductibles”, and who know which questions to ask to help customers find the right plan for them. One of the most important things about this help is that it’s free, confidential, and you can rest assured knowing that staff won’t try to “sell you” on any one plan.

“We remain bipartisan with the different insurance carriers,” Crume-Bruce said. “We try to play as fair a game as we can. We don’t advertise one carrier over another. We really want the customer to choose what is best.”

Clark County residents can visit or call the center in Vancouver at Applied Team Insurance. They are located at 7720 N.E. Vancouver Mall Drive. You may also call (360) 726-6092 or schedule an appointment by visiting www.appliedteamins.com.

For those who have a better handle on insurance terms and implications, Washington Healthplanfinder has online search functions that allow users to easily search providers and plans by what is available in their region.

At the very least, Crume-Bruce said, it’s worth researching whether another plan could save some money overall, especially for individuals and families who don’t have any ongoing healthcare needs or who don’t end up needing to visit a doctor very often.

“One of our analyses shows that about 50 percent of Washingtonians, if they choose to shop, will see savings,” Crume-Bruce said. “There’s just so much on the market.”

Get more information at WAHealthplanfinder.org.

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