Open enrollment for WA Health Benefit Exchange begins tomorrow - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Open enrollment for WA Health Benefit Exchange begins tomorrow

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TRI-CITIES, WA - Open enrollment in the Washington Health Benefit Exchange begins tomorrow, and runs through January 15. However, the enrollment deadline for your health benefits to begin on January 1 is December 15.

The obvious thing people will notice first are the price increases, with some people potentially seeing up to 24 percent increases in certain health plans.

But Michael Marchand of the Washington State Health Benefit Exchange says the sticker shock some people may see is a little deceiving because for many of those people...the price increase in the plans will be offset by tax credits.

"In the past, the federal government has paid for cautionary reductions, but this year, the insurance companies are going to pay for them," Marchand said. "So in order for them to recoup the cost for paying for those, they have increased the price of silver level plans, but silver level plans also determine how much tax credit you get. So if these prices go up, that means tax credits if you're eligible will be going up, too. So for many people who buy health insurance on our marketplace, while there's up to a 24 percent increase in cost of plans, many people will see their tax credits go up by at least 24 percent as well."

Remember, December 15 is the deadline to enroll if you want your plan to start January 1.