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Health Exchange Open Enrollment Deadline Looms

Courtesy of Washington Healthplanfinder
Washington's health exchange has hosted outreach events throughout the open enrollment season, which is drawing quickly to a close.

If you don’t have health coverage yet, you still have two weeks to sign up. But state officials are urging people not to wait until the last minute. They say there are reasons to enroll sooner — you’ll avoid the surge leading up to the deadline.

And if you want your health plan to start in April, you’ll need to sign up and pay by March 23. For those who enroll by the end of the month, but after March 23, coverage won’t begin until May.

The open enrollment period is designed to prevent people from buying insurance only when they need it. But people can experience life changes that leave them exposed and without coverage. When that happens, there’s still a way to get insurance, but only under certain circumstances, said Washington exchange spokesperson Michael Marchand.

“You get married or divorced, or you have a child, or you change jobs or lose a job — something that would impact your status and health insurance," Marchand said. "At that point in time you’re provided an opportunity to go into Washington Healthplanfinder and select a plan, should you choose to do so.”

Meanwhile, the exchange and its partners will continue to host a number of events to help sign up people around the region. The state also continues to reach out to young adults. At last count they make up about 23 percent of the current enrollment population.

Year started with KUOW: 1994