Washington exchange signs 170,000 for insurance

Washington Health Exchange Extends Enrollment

SEATTLE (AP) — About 170,000 Washington residents bought insurance through the state’s health care exchange during open enrollment that ended last week.

That’s about 30,000 more than bought insurance during the first year the exchange was open. But it’s still about 40,000 fewer than the goal state officials set this year for Washington Healthplanfinder.

Exchange spokesman Michael Marchand says they are still examining the numbers. But he has a long list of reasons why they failed to meet their enrollment goals. Those reasons include more people getting free insurance through Medicaid than expected, more getting jobs with benefits and more people buying insurance through the open market.

Marchand says his main disappointment is that the exchange still isn’t offering the level of customer service people in Washington should be getting.