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Aug. 12, 2022

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Health Insurance Choices Made Easier with Washington Healthplanfinder

With fall in full force, beckoning with it plans for pumpkin patch outings and turkey orders, keep in mind that another season comes about with the changing of the leaves: open enrollment.


Beginning on Nov. 1 and lasting through Dec. 15, open enrollment is the period of time each year in which individuals can freely sign up for or switch to a new health insurance plan — something that at any other time of the year is typically subject to restrictions. The plans go into effect January 2021.

While shopping for health coverage isn’t as easy as picking the perfect Halloween costume, it is a task made a lot less stressful with Washington Healthplanfinder. Created in conjunction with the Affordable Care Act, Washington Healthplanfinder is a staterun web portal that acts as a marketplace for health and dental insurance options.

Through its website,, Washington residents can browse health and dental insurance plans by those available to them in their area. By answering a few questions, users can also quickly learn if they qualify for free or low-cost coverage.

Users can browse the various options on the website, which provides an easy-to-digest overview of what the plan covers. Each plan’s snapshot clearly spells out details such as monthly premiums, the deductible, out-of-pocket maximums and whether there are copays for prescriptions and doctors’ visits — and if so, what those costs look like. Additionally, it can help further filter plans by other factors that are important to each person or family, such as whether a specific primary care physician or current prescription is covered in each of the plan options.

In that way, the Washington Healthplanfinder is not designed to sell or push any one plan or insurance provider but rather works to help identify the plans that best fit each individual’s unique circumstance.

“We work for the people of the state of Washington,” said Shawna Crume-Bruce, Marketing Manager at Washington Healthplanfinder. “In this marketplace, there’s definitely some competition among the carriers. It causes premiums to go down and it allows for us to try and make health care coverage as easy as possible.”

One of the best features of Washington Healthplanfinder, Crume-Bruce said, is that in addition to the online search tools, there are people standing by waiting to help users through the process. Washington Healthplanfinder offers options for getting assistance from healthcare brokers and insurance plan navigators, that can be accessed at in-person enrollment centers, through the WAPlanfinder mobile app and through video or phone assistance.

“Health care coverage, really any insurance, is not easy to figure out on your own,” Crume- Bruce said. “You can do it online yourself, but then you’re still navigating it without a partner.”

Crume-Bruce said that these trained professionals know what questions to ask to ensure that the plan each person chooses ends up being the best fit for its real-world use.

Some individuals, she said, regularly visit the doctor for ongoing treatment of the condition. That predictability will require heavier scrutiny of each plan to find the one that saves the most money throughout the year. Other individuals, Crume-Bruce points out, are healthy and hardly go to the doctor.

Another reason to visit Washington Healthplanfinder is to check out the Cascade Care plans, which are insurance offerings that can only be found through the Washington Healthplanfinder. Designed by state officials but administered through private insurers, these plans were created with the goal of increasing Washingtonians’ access to high-quality health care coverage.

For the end user, Crume-Bruce said, it means removing some of the guesswork around budgeting for healthcare costs. More services are covered before meeting the deductible, so the individual is paying a set amount for copays, generic drugs, mental health services and urgent care.

“It makes it predictable for what costs are going to be when seeking services,” she said.

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