Tag Archives: healthplanfinder

State health exchange opens, site goes down

blog.healthplanfinderUPDATE: The Healthplanfinder website will be down until 8 a.m. Sunday, according to its Twitter account.

The Washington health insurance exchange experienced some early turbulence Saturday during the launch of its open enrollment period. 

The Healthplanfinder website was taken down after it was discovered tax credit calculations weren’t accurate. These statements were posted on the Washington Health Benefit Exchange website:

1 p.m.

Washington Healthplanfinder is currently unavailable due to a quality control finding by our staff earlier this morning. Our staff is working with our system partners from the Department of Social and Human Services (DSHS) to resolve incorrect eligibility results for 2015 health insurance premium tax credit amounts. We are working to fix this issue as quickly as possible and expect to be back online sometime tomorrow morning on Sunday, Nov. 16. Thank you for your patience as we work to ensure that customers receive correct information from Healthplanfinder.

11:25 a.m.

The Exchange’s quality control process has determined that 2015 tax credit amounts are currently being incorrectly calculated. As a result the Exchange is taking Washington Healthplanfinder offline in order to resolve the issue. 

In preparation for year two, the Exchange had in place quality control review to capture any irregularities that might appear in applications during the first few hours of open enrollment. 

This review process discovered that the state’s Eligibility System and Washington Healthplanfinder were providing 2015 tax credit amounts that were inaccurate, sometimes by as little as a few dollars. Understanding the challenge this could create for consumers, we are erring on the side of caution and taking the system offline to fully address the issue.

The Exchange and DSHS staff will be working closely together to identify the solution and hope to have the site back up as soon as possible. Privileged users are advised to not process paper applications until further notice.

Planned Weekend Maintenance:

Washington Healthplanfinder will be unavailable during the following time:

  • Saturday, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. to Sunday, Nov 16 at 5 a.m. 
  • Sunday, Nov. 16 at 8:30 p.m. to Monday, Nov 17 at 4 a.m. federal data services, DSHS and eligibility service maintenance

Users will see a message at wahbexchange.org that Healthplanfinder is closed for maintenance at this time. 

Follow business reporter Tad Sooter on Twitter at @tsooter. Contact him at tad.sooter@kitsapsun.com or leave a comment below.

Six carriers and 67 exchange plans OK’d for Kitsap

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is gearing up for its sophomore season, with open enrollment starting Nov. 15.

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner has approved 10 insurance companies to sell 90 individual health plans through the exchange for 2015. Of those, six carriers will offer a combined 67 plans in Kitsap County:kitsap plans

You can see a statewide breakdown of carriers and plans here.

Some notes on the exchange offerings for Kitsap:

  • Moda Health is the only new carrier for Kitsap this year. In addition to five individual plans, Moda will be the only carrier offering small business plans in Kitsap.

About 5,000 Kitsap residents signed up for coverage through the state exchange this year, while 13,000 were covered by Medicaid for the first time.

For more information on the exchange, visit the Insurance Commissioner and Healthplanfinder websites.

Seattle Children’s accepting Premera ACA plans

Athletes Are Vaccinated Ahead Of The 2010 Winter OlympicsLocal pediatricians were concerned earlier this year when they discovered some plans offered through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange wouldn’t fully cover services at regional children’s hospitals.

A major worry was Premera plans not including all services at Seattle Children’s Hospital, where many Kitsap County children are taken for treatment of rare or severe ailments.

The hospital and insurance company have now reached an agreement. Beginning Sept. 1, Seattle Children’s will be “in-network” for individual and small-group Premera plans offered under the Affordable Care Act, according to a Monday news release.

Seattle Children’s is still negotiating with Bridgespan, the release said. The Puget Sound Business Journal has more on the Premera agreement.

Speaking of hospital/insurer disagreements, the deadline for Harrison Medical Center and Regence BlueShield to reach an accord is coming up. A temporary contract extension ends Thursday. We’ll continue reporting on the negotiations.

Harrison ER sees shift to Medicaid

Harrison Medical Center wasn’t able to provide us with patient payment data on short notice for our Monday story on health exchange enrollment. They were kind enough to send over a breakdown of emergency room visits by payment type today. It’s posted below.

After the opening of the exchange, and expansion of Medicaid, the Harrison ER saw a drop in the number of patients paying out of pocket and a surge in Medicaid payments, particularly under managed care plans. The number of patients covered under private plans actually dropped slightly.

The exchange is still compiling information about how many people who enrolled through Healthplanfinder were previously uninsured. We should have that information later this year.

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5,000 Kitsap residents enrolled in private health plans through exchange

blog.kitsap.enrollmentNearly 5,000 Kitsap residents enrolled in private health plans during open enrollment for the Washington insurance exchange.

Washington Healthplanfinder released final statistics from its inaugural open enrollment period Wednesday. The enrollment period ran from October through March.

The 4,940 Kitsap residents who signed up for private health plans through the exchange accounted for about 3 percent of the 164,000 enrolled in private plans statewide.

Another 23,219 Kitsap residents signed up for Medicaid through Healthplanfinder, either as newly eligible clients (12,921) or as clients who re-enrolled (10,298).

Kitsap ranked tenth among Washington counties for total enrollment. An estimated 31,000 Kitsap residents were uninsured in 2012, according to a report from the state Insurance Commissioner. Of those, 17,300 were eligible for assistance under the Affordable Care Act.

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The full open enrollment report is posted below: Continue reading

Health exchange enrollment tops 3,500 in Kitsap as deadline nears

A total of 3,574 Kitsap residents had enrolled in private health insurance plans through the Washington exchange at the end of February, according to a report from Washington Healthplanfinder. Sign ups remained relatively slow, as they had since December.

Medicaid enrollment continued to climb steeply, with 18,369 enrolled through the exchange at the end of February. That included 10,017 residents signing up for Medicaid for the first time.

The deadline to apply for qualified private plans through Healthplanfinder is March 31. Applicants who file before 5 p.m. March 31 can qualify for coverage that activates April 1. Applicants who file before midnight can qualify for coverage that activates May 1.

The next enrollment period open from Nov. 15 to Feb. 15. Medicaid enrollment continues throughout the year.

Under the Affordable Care Act, people who don’t have health insurance after the deadline could be charged penalties on their federal income tax return. You can find more information on the federal process here.

Kitsap health exchange enrollment slowed in January

Kitsap County enrollment private plans offered through Washington Health Benefit Exchange tapered in January, after a surge in December.

A total of 3,146 Kitsap residents had signed up for private insurance through the exchange at the end of January. Enrollment in expanded Medicaid programs remained high, with 14,534 qualifying for the first time or renewing enrollment.

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The jump in private plan enrollment in December came before the application deadline for insurance that activated Jan. 1. The next big deadline is March 31, when open enrollment for private plans closes. Medicaid enrollment continues year-round.

The exchange announced this week that more than 100,000 Washington residents had enrolled in private plans through the Healthplanfinder website. Another 300,000 Washington residents have enrolled in Medicaid through the exchange for the first time.

Exchange staff will be in Kitsap this weekend to promote Healthplanfinder at the Wild West Shootout roller derby event.

The full enrollment report from January is embedded below: Continue reading

Health exchange using Kitsap roller derby to reach younger crowd

Roller derby competitors take their share of lumps and bruises. The rowdy sport also attracts a young crowd.

Those elements made roller derby a natural fit for promoting the state Healthplanfinder website, said spokeswoman Bethany Frey.

The health insurance exchange is rolling out a partnership this month with Kitsap’s Slaughter County Roller Vixens, along with other roller derby and hockey leagues across the state. It’s part of an effort to reach the coveted “young invincibles.”

“It fit in really well with the demographic we’re trying to reach,” Frey said.

The exchange will have a booth and promotional activities at Roller Vixens events through the end of March, including the popular Wild West Showdown.

The deadline for signing up for qualified private plans through the exchange is March 31.

Meegan Reid photo

More Kitsap residents enrolling in qualified health plans

blog.healthplanfinderEnrollment in the state health insurance marketplace has so far been dominated by Medicaid enrollees.

But in December, Kitsap saw a jump in the number of residents enrolled in qualified private health care plans offered through Washington Healthplanfinder. Enrollment in those plans jumped from 735 at the end of November to 2,454 at the end of December, according to a report released Thursday by the exchange.

A surge in enrollment for qualified health plans was noted statewide in December. Exchange representatives attributed the jump to people rushing to meet the Dec. 23 deadline for coverage activated on Jan. 1.

Another 9,149 Kitsap residents have qualified for Medicaid plans, including 3,801 newly enrolled. That brings the total number of Kitsap residents enrolled through the exchange to 11,603.

The exchange opened in October. Open enrollment continues through March 31 (applications are accepted at any time for Medicaid).

The full data report for December is posted below: Continue reading

Kitsap enrollment in health exchange plans nears 6,000

blog.healthplanfinderThe number of Kitsap residents signed up for health coverage through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange nearly tripled in November, according to a report released Thursday.

Total enrollment for the county was 5,837 by the end of November, a big jump from the 1,986 signed up at the end of October. Statewide enrollment grew to 179,000.

The overwhelming majority signed up for Medicaid coverage, as has been the trend since the exchange opened Oct. 1.

Customers have until Dec. 23 to pay for plans if they want their insurance to activate Jan. 1.

It appears errors on the Healthplanfinder website that listed Harrison Medical Center as “out of network” for some plans have been fixed.

Here’s the full November report: Continue reading