Deadline is approaching for health insurance in Washington

Deadline is approaching for health insurance in Washington

SEATTLE (AP) — Time is running out to sign up for health insurance through the state’s marketplace for next year.

The Seattle Times reports open enrollment for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange closes at 11:59 p.m. Sunday. If you sign up by that deadline, your coverage will begin Jan. 1, 2020.

For those who need help selecting a plan or navigating the enrollment process, Public Health – Seattle & King County is putting on events in Seattle, Federal Way, SeaTac, Tukwila and Vashon Island. Customers can shop for plans on the state’s Healthplanfinder website.

Compared to last year, fewer people are selecting a plan through Washington’s state-run individual health insurance marketplace, but more of those are new customers.

Since enrollment opened Nov. 1, about 194,000 people have selected an insurance plan, compared to 204,000 by the same point last year.

As of Wednesday, 22,606 of this year’s enrollees are new to the exchange, which is a 7% bump compared to this time last year.

The slight drop in overall enrollment since last year can be attributed to a variety of factors, including a strong economy, affordability, and changes that Congress and the Trump administration have made to the Affordable Care Act, said Michael Marchand, chief marketing officer for the exchange.

Many existing customers are looking into plans different from what they purchased last year. Almost two-thirds of people who had a plan set to auto-renew have opted to switch plans instead, Marchand wrote in an email.