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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Open enrollment begins for 2019 insurance coverage under Washington and Idaho exchanges

Oct. 30, 2018 Updated Wed., Oct. 31, 2018 at 6:42 p.m.

Washington and Idaho residents can begin signing up Thursday for 2019 health insurance and dental plans under the states’ individual insurance markets.

Open enrollment runs through Dec. 15 for coverage beginning Jan. 1.

In Washington, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has approved 11 health insurers to sell 74 plans through the 2019 individual health insurance market. All 39 counties in the state will have at least one insurer.

Last year, about 207,000 Washington residents enrolled through the state exchange and 60 percent received a subsidy to offset the cost of insurance.

The average increase for plans this year is 13.57 percent, with cost increases for individual plans ranging from less than 1 percent to 18.6 percent.

In Idaho, seven insurance carriers have been approved to offer 293 medical and dental plans through the exchange, Your Health Idaho. More than 90,000 state residents purchase health insurance through the exchange and 88 percent receive a tax credit.

The average cost increase for Idaho plans in 2019 is 5 percent.

Pat Kelly, executive director for Your Health Idaho, said people might be surprised to learn they can qualify for a subsidy to help pay for their insurance. Families and individuals earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level may be eligible for subsidies.

People who are already signed up for a plan through Your Health Idaho have an automatic renewal option. However, Kelly encourages people to compare plans yearly. A network of 900 insurance agents and brokers are available to offer free help to residents as they select coverage, he said.

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