Washington Health Plan Finder Guidelines for Coverage in January - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington Health Plan Finder Guidelines for Coverage in January

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Washington Healthplanfinder is offering some additional guidance for people who tried to sign up for health care, but were unable to complete their applications before December 23rd. Washington Healthplanfinder is offering some additional guidance for people who tried to sign up for health care, but were unable to complete their applications before December 23rd.

OLYMPIA, WA - Washington Healthplanfinder is offering some additional guidance for people who tried to sign up for health care, but were unable to complete their applications before December 23rd. 

People who started their applications by the 23rd have until January 15th to enroll in coverage. If your coverage is paid for by then, it will retroactively cover health care costs from January 1st. 

If that includes you, the Washington health care exchange wants to make sure you understand how the system works.

"We want our customers who may be accessing their new coverage in January to be aware of the process for utilizing health benefits before they are fully enrolled," said Richard Onizuka, CEO for Washington Healthplanfinder. "Some may incur out-of-pocket expenses if using services prior to their enrollment information being fully reconciled with their new health insurer." 

The following is the advice from Washington Healthplanfinder.

· There may be a delay between when a customer completes their enrollment in Healthplanfinder and when they are shown as fully enrolled with their newly selected health plan.

· Although coverage is effective on Jan. 1 for those who are eligible for the retroactive option, customers may not receive health plan ID cards or other plan information until later in January. This may impact customers seeking medical or prescription services before their ID cards arrive.

· Customers may be required to pay the full cost of treatment or prescription medications they receive if the provider cannot verify coverage. However, they will be entitled to reimbursement for covered services from covered providers in their health plan once their application is complete.

· Customers may contact their health plan with any questions about how to use their benefits before they receive their ID card.  

 "We continue to work closely with the health insurance carriers to ensure that all new enrollee information is properly reflected in the system," said Onizuka. "Please be patient and know that if you are determined eligible for coverage, follow required steps and finalize your plan selection and payment by Jan. 15, your services will be reimbursed according to your plan benefits."    

The retroactive option applies to applications started or submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 23. Individuals will have their insurance benefits retroactively configured to the start of the year if they are determined eligible, indicate their interest in Jan. 1 coverage and select and purchase a health plan by Jan. 15.    

Affected customers waiting for completion of their applications should be on high alert to receive notifications from Washington Healthplanfinder. Customers will receive notifications outlining important steps to bypass or fix errors affecting their application. Customers will need to select and purchase their health plan by Jan. 15 and notify Healthplanfinder they are interested in Jan. 1 coverage.

As of Dec. 23, more than 65,000 Washington presidents selected and purchased a private health plan. Nearly 70,000 were determined eligible and must take the final step of submitting payment to receive health coverage.

For an updated list of Frequently Asked Questions on the Dec. 23 deadline, please click here.   For helpful hints for customers seeking coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014, please click here.  

Medicaid Note: Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) does not have an open enrollment period.

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