(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee released the following statement encouraging Washington state families to shop for health care coverage as the third open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act began this week. Washington state, which expanded eligibility under the Medicaid program (Washington Apple Health) and operates its own Exchange, has the fifth fastest declining uninsured rate in the nation.
“Over the last few years, we have taken important steps toward strengthening our health care system so it works for families and puts their needs first. We’ve come a long way from the days when millions fewer people had health insurance, when insurance companies could turn patients with pre-existing conditions away, and when women could be charged more than men for the same care.
“But the work isn’t done—far from it—and I am committed to working with anyone, on either side of the aisle to build on the progress we’ve made so far with more steps to make health care more affordable, expand coverage, and improve quality of care. I encourage all families to explore their coverage options during this third enrollment period, and I look forward to continuing work in Congress to strengthen our health care system for families in Washington state and across the country.”
In Washington state, the Washington Healthplanfinder began open enrollment on November 1, 2015 and continues until January 31, 2016. On the website, new and returning customers are able see if they qualify for free or low-cost health coverage and compare 2016 coverage offerings that include 148 health insurance plans from 13 different insurance companies. The Exchange makes tools and resources available at www.wahbexchange.org and also at www.knowyourplan.org to help educate consumers about common health insurance terms and important information to consider when selecting a health plan.