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County leaders urge residents to check their health insurance and renew before Sunday deadline

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Board of Health chair Joe McDermott remind residents just a few days remain before the close of Open Enrollment on Washington's health exchange.

Story

"Don't miss out!"

That's the key message from King County Executive Dow Constantine and King County Board of Health chair Joe McDermott, with just a few days before the close of Open Enrollment on Washington's health exchange.

Eligible residents have until 9:59pm on Sunday, February 15, to enroll or renew insurance through Washington Healthplanfinder. The Healthplanfinder website offers the state's only health insurance with federal government tax-credits or subsidies. More than 85 percent of people who signed up for a new health plan on Washington Healthplanfinder got financial help to pay for their plan.

"Helping more people enroll in health insurance not only makes King County healthier – it provides free or low-cost financial protection that strengthens our economy," said Executive Constantine. "Don't miss out!"

Help is available for anyone who is uncertain or confused about their choices, or having trouble with enrollment. A network of insurance experts offers free help in the community, coordinated by Public Health—Seattle & King County.

"Our goal is to remove barriers – so that people who need access to the benefits of being insured, such as preventive medicine, can get access," said Board of Health chair and Councilmember McDermott.

Renewals and first-time enrollments

The number of people insured continues to grow, but it appears as many as 20,000 county residents who purchased insurance last year through Washington Healthplanfinder still need to renew their insurance. Some of those may have enrolled elsewhere, through other programs or an employer. But many simply may not have realized that they need to take action by the deadline.

In addition, anyone who did not get insured last year can get free or low-cost insurance during Open Enrollment. Those who do get coverage can avoid a potential tax penalty when they file their 2015 taxes. The penalty rises this year to 2% of annual income or $325 per adult household member.

Help is available

In-person experts offer free help at locations across King County. Residents can find where and how to get help through the county's enrollment website, at kingcounty.gov/coverage. This weekend, special events are scheduled in Federal Way, Kent and Seattle:

  • Saturday, February 14, 11am-4pm, The Commons at Federal Way (mall)
  • Saturday & Sunday, February 14 & 15, 10am-5pm, Metro Seattle (201 S. Jackson St.)
  • Saturday & Sunday, February 14 & 15, 8am-5pm, SeaMar Seattle Clinic (8720 14th Avenue S.)
  • Sunday, February 15, 10am-4pm, Valley Cities Counseling - Kent, (325 West Gowe Street)

For assistance by phone, the Healthplanfinder call-center is available at 855-923-4633, and King County's help line is at 800-756-5437. Find additional help at King County's coverage webpage, kingcounty.gov/coverage.

Reminder: Enrollment in Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) and Washington Healthplanfinder Business is year-round.


Providing effective and innovative health and disease prevention services for over 2 million residents and visitors of King County, Public Health — Seattle & King County works for safer and healthier communities for everyone, every day.