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Sign Up Begins For Health Plans In Washington

Washington Health Benefit Exchange

The signup period has begun for Washington health plans.

If you are already signed up to a specific plan, you will be automatically renewed, but it is a good idea to check out the benefits and costs of the new version.

You can get assistance in several ways including finding a broker in your area that is listed on the website of the state health exchange..

Broker program manager Kris Lattimore says talking to a broker can also help with specific decisions in finding a plan tailored to your needs. For example, a silver plan may have a higher premium than a bronze plan, but the benefits are also substantially more because of cost shares.

“It’s funny when you look at those plans, the premium may be more than a bronze plan, but that bronze plan may have a $7,000 deductible, and because you qualify for the cost share reduction, you purchase a silver plan that has a higher monthly premium, but that deductible can be reduced significantly to like $700.”

Lattimore says a broker can also come in handy in rural locations of the state where there are fewer plan options.

“If you get into the rural counties, like Stevens or Okanagan or Lincoln counties, there are fewer choices in those rural areas, so it’s really important to find expert advice or even pick up the phone and call someone, because they can help you make a choice to fit your needs,” he said.

You can sign up and browse plans at the website In Spokane there is also an enrollment center at 1209 West First. Toll free phone assistance is also available at 1-855-923-4633.

The sign up period starts Friday November 1 and runs through December 15 for plans starting January 1.

Steve was part of the Spokane Public Radio family for many years before he came on air in 1999. His wife, Laurie, produced Radio Ethiopia in the late 1980s through the '90s, and Steve used to “lurk in the shadowy world” of Weekend SPR. Steve has done various on air shifts at the station, including nearly 15 years as the local Morning Edition host. Currently, he is the voice of local weather and news during All Things Considerd, writing, editing, producing and/or delivering newscasts and features for both KPBX and KSFC. Aside from SPR, Steve ,who lives in the country, enjoys gardening, chickens, playing and listening to music, astronomy, photography, sports cars and camping.