WA Exchange announces end of premium aggregation

Washington Healthplanfinder Announces
Premium Payment Change for Customers

Health, dental plan customers must pay insurance companies beginning Sept. 24

OLYMPIA, Wash.Washington Healthplanfinder today announced that current Qualified Health Plan and Qualified Dental Plan customers must pay their monthly premium payment directly to their insurance company beginning Sept. 24. Washington Healthplanfinder will no longer accept premium payments after Sept. 23.

After Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board staff conducted a thorough analysis of Washington Healthplanfinder’s process of accepting customer premium payments – known as premium aggregation – the Exchange Board voted in December 2014 to remove the functionality from the system. As a result, insurance carriers will handle all health plan related payments, as they do in the outside market.

Washington Healthplanfinder has accepted health and dental premium payments since its launch Oct. 1, 2013, although customers have always had the option to pay their insurance carrier directly. Nearly 20 percent of customers currently pay their carriers directly.

“Given that the majority of our system issues or customer complaints have been related to invoicing and the process of transferring payments to carriers, this should go a long way to improving the customer experience,” said Richard Onizuka, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “The Exchange and our insurance carriers have been working closely together to make the transition as smooth as possible for our existing customers.”

The Exchange and carriers are encouraging customers to start paying their insurance company directly ahead of the Sept. 23 deadline. Washington Healthplanfinder will cease to take customer payments at 5 p.m. on Sept. 23.

Any financial help such as tax credits and cost-sharing reductions that customers receive will not be affected by this change. Customers who have questions about paying their monthly premium payments should contact their insurance company directly.

Since Washington Healthplanfinder Business is legally required to aggregate premiums, small businesses that use the Exchange marketplace will not be affected by this change. Employers may continue to pay their monthly premiums at www.wahealthplanfinder.org.

For more information about the payment change, including a list of payment methods accepted by each insurance company, visit www.wahbexchange.org/payments, or click here for detailed frequently asked questions.

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Engage with health care leaders and policy makers on this and many other important issues at the 2015 Inland Northwest State of Reform health policy conference on September 15th.