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Regional News

Sign-Up For Health Insurance Ends Saturday

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Wa Health Plan finder
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The sign-up period for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange ends Saturday.

While nationwide the enrollments are down compared to recent years, they seem to be right on track in Washington state.

An NPR report Friday indicated that at the end of last week, more than 4.1 million people had signed up for a plan on the national Healthcare.gov website. That’s about half a million fewer than last year at this time.

But here in Washington, the numbers seem to be about the same, with 205,000 people signing up so far, and, according to Michael Marchand of the Washington Health Plan Finder, some 10,000 enrollments this week alone.

“My hope would be we wind up with open enrollment at 209,000 again. My preference would be we would get more because we know still five-to-six percent of our population is still uninsured,” he said.

Marchand says it has been a challenging year for the market due to a few factors. Those include a shorter enrollment window, the elimination of the federal mandate to buy insurance, lack of awareness of the open enrollment due to a reduction in federal marketing and outreach, and an improving state economy, in which many folks may have found insurance through a job.

You can still sign up for health insurance coverage that will begin on January first, by enrolling or updating your current status at the Health Plan Finder website through midnight Saturday.