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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Annual health and dental insurance enrollment period open now

By Tracy Damon, Marketing Writer Sponsored content provided by Washington Health Benefit Exchange

2020 has been a stressful year for myriad reasons. Virtual classrooms from home. An extremely contentious election. And now the Holidays.

What doesn’t need to be stressful is making decisions about your family’s health and dental coverage. Washington Healthplanfinder, the state’s health insurance marketplace for Washingtonians, makes it easy for you to find, compare, and enroll in a plan now through Dec. 15 for coverage beginning Jan. 1.

“In this environment- with the loss of jobs, significant loss of income, and employers deciding not to offer health insurance- it’s extremely important for people to sign up for plans now so they can have coverage starting January 1st,” said Kris Lattimore, Producer Program Manager with the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, the public-private state agency tasked with operating Washington Healthplanfinder.

Your first step to getting starting is to visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org. On the website, you can browse, compare, and select a health or dental plan. With eight private carriers in the Spokane area and several to choose from in outlying areas, there is something that is bound to fit your needs.

“There are health insurance plans for every situation, lifestyle and income – as well as resources to help people make the best decisions when it comes to their healthcare,” said Lattimore. “Additionally, a recent tax credit analysis of 2021 plans revealed that the majority of customers who are seeing a premium increase at renewal can save money by switching to a lower priced plan.”

Washington Healthplanfinder also has a wide range of resources that can make the entire process a lot easier to understand and navigate. One of the most helpful resources are their assisters, often referred to as brokers and navigators, whose job is to help customers find the best coverage plan for their situation.

“Brokers and navigators can explain the rules and see if applicants qualify for free or affordable health care. They know the system and how to best navigate it because they’re trained on it,” said Lattimore.

Brokers and navigators are also trained to provide cultural, linguistic and disability support for people requiring additional or alternative accommodations.

“We conduct cultural competency training with all of our assisters,” said Lattimore. “We’re trying to address everyone’s needs and make sure that all Washingtonians have equal access to health care.”

To connect with an assister, you can schedule a virtual appointment video or phone conference from the comfort of your home. For those who prefer a face-to-face meeting, there is a Washington Healthplanfinder enrollment center conveniently located in downtown Spokane. And because the goal is to keep you in good health, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) protocols and social distancing are in place for every in-person visit to enrollment centers.

So don’t wait, get started by scheduling an in-person, virtual or phone consultations at WAHealthplanfinder.org or by calling 855-923-4633. No matter which option you choose, assistance is free and confidential.

***

For those seeking coverage starting January 1, customers need to enroll in a plan by December 15. Those who enroll after that deadline and before January 15 will have a coverage start date of February 1.

Washington Healthplanfinder offers a wide range of resources to help people navigate their coverage options – including in-person enrollment centers, virtual video or phone assistance, and the WAPlanfinder Mobile App. Anyone requiring help signing up for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder may contact the Customer Support Center at 1-855-923-4633; TTY: 855-627-9604. They may also contact an Exchange certified Navigator, Broker, or Enrollment center who can answer insurance questions and help with enrollment. Free help from local experts is accessible via the WAPlanfinder Mobile App or by visiting www.wahealthplanfinder.org..

During the 2021 open enrollment period, the Customer Support Center will be open 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday – Friday. Additionally, extended hours scheduled:

November

• Saturday, November 7, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

• Veteran’s Day, Wednesday, November 11, 7:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

• Saturday November 14, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

• Day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 27, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

December

• Saturday, December 5, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

• Saturday, December 12, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

• Sunday, December 13, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

• Monday, December 14, 7:30 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.

• Tuesday, December 15, 7:30 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.

• Tuesday, December 24, 7:30 a.m. – 3: p.m.

• Thursday, December 31, 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

January

• Saturday, January 9, 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

• Thursday, January 14 7:30 a.m. – 11:59 p.m.

• Friday, January 15 7:30 a.m. – 11: 59 p.m.

Spokane, Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Whitman counties

Better Health Together Enrollment Center

1209 W 1st Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201

Phone: (509) 381-5566

Email: bhtnavigatorstaff@BetterHealthTogether.org

Hours of operation:

• Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

• Saturday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

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Annual health and dental insurance enrollment period open now

 (Courtesy Washington Healthplanfinder)
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2020 has been a stressful year for myriad reasons.