Washington Healthplanfinder Sees 123,000 Select Qualified Health Plans in First Month of Open Enrollment

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today announced that more than 123,000 residents have selected Qualified Health Plans for 2016 coverage since the launch of the third open enrollment period on Nov. 1. Approximately 112,000 customers renewed plan selections from the previous year, with automatic renewals accounting for more than 84,000 of the 123,209 plans selected through December 1.

All residents who qualify must select a Qualified Health Plan through wahealthplanfinder.org by December 23 to receive coverage by Jan. 1, 2016. Data collected from the first two open enrollment periods indicate a significant increase in sign-ups as the Dec. 23 deadline approaches. Open enrollment runs through Jan. 31, 2016.

“We are very happy with the number of people who have started or have already completed the plan selection process for 2016 coverage,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Past experience shows that many will wait until the last minute to enroll. It is important for customers to take action by Dec. 23 to ensure that their coverage will begin on Jan. 1, 2016.”

Detailed totals on Qualified Health Plan selections (from Nov. 1, 2015 through Dec. 1, 2015):

2016 Open Enrollment Overview (Nov. 1-Dec. 1, 2015)
Total Plans Selected 123,209
New Customers Selecting Coverage 10,952
Renewing Customers Selecting Coverage 112,257
Calls Answered at Exchange Call Center 110,656
WAHealthplanfinder.org Unique Users 111,720
WAHBExchange.org Unique Users 72,351
Digital Marketing – Impressions (Nov. 1-Dec. 6) 21,158,705
Click-throughs to Healthplanfinder from digital placements (Nov. 1-Dec. 6) 67,331


*NOTE: Plan selection totals represent the number of individuals signed up for 2016 health coverage from Nov. 1 through Dec. 1, not the number of applications received.

The number of plans selected through the first month of the current enrollment period represents an increase from the first month total during  open enrollment last year. This increase is due in large part to an easier auto-renewal process  that allows renewing customers to maintain their existing coverage going into 2016.

Initial reports through Dec. 1 also indicate significant online engagement among consumers seeking to apply or maintain coverage in 2016. Digital marketing that supports raising awareness of open enrollment and Washington Healthplanfinder has garnered more than 21 million impressions since Nov. 1 and received more than triple the average rate of click-throughs directing to wahealthplanfinder.org.

Unlike past years, customers who have already selected new or renewed plans should be on the lookout for billing information arriving from their insurance company. Payment of premiums must be made directly to the insurance company in time for coverage that starts on January 1. Among the customer experience improvements made prior to the third open enrollment period, the Exchange no longer aggregates premiums or accepts customer premium payments.

Washington Healthplanfinder is also providing new, improved resource guides to help consumers compare health plans and investigate their options for 2016. Coverage shopping tips include information on financial help to lower the cost of insurance and demonstrate how to easily filter, sort, and compare Qualified Health plans when shopping for coverage. You may find more information at knowyourplan.org.