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Attention Washingtonians: It's Open Enrollment Season

It’s that time of year again: open enrollment period, when consumers choose a health plan for medical coverage.

Customers can browse for insurance at Washington Healthplanfinder, now in its third year.  

Officials say new and returning customers can expect a smoother experience. The health exchange’s debut in 2013 was marred by technical glitches and long waits to the call center.

Officials say they’ve made changes to the system. They’ve also simplified the process so that customers will now pay insurers directly.

This year there will be more choices -- 148 health plans from 13 different insurance companies.

The health exchange is also reminding people that the penalty for not having insurance goes up to $695 per person or up to 2 percent of their income, whichever is higher. And to qualify for federal tax credits you must have filed 2014 taxes. 

Year started with KUOW: 1994