This year marks the fourth year Room One has provided Certified Navigators for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange to the Methow Valley community, helping hundreds of our neighbors access quality, affordable health insurance. This year, many of those signing up for health insurance will see significant changes in coverage and price. Only two insurers remain on Washington’s Health Insurance Exchange in Okanogan County, and, for many, rates will increase 20-40% or more, with much less coverage. Insurance companies are citing uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act under the current administration, decreased federal payments to insurers and increased costs as contributing to the rate increases.
Still, many of our neighbors are eligible for significant subsidies through the Exchange to offset the cost of insurance, and some, including many children, are eligible for no or very low cost insurance through the state Medicaid program, Apple Health. This year the open enrollment period is shorter, and folks need to sign up by December 15 to have insurance by January 1st, or January 15th for insurance starting February 1st. Call Room One for an appointment or go to www.wahealthplanfinder.org to sign up.