Tool helps people in Washington shop for health coverage

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People in Washington state now have an easier way to shop for health care coverage with a new online marketplace designed to help individuals, families and small businesses find and compare health plans.

“Washington Healthplanfinder,” part of Washington Health Benefit Exchange, is accepting enrollment for coverage beginning Jan. 1.

The concept was developed based on face-to-face conversations statewide with Washington residents, including uninsured individuals, people who buy insurance on the private market and small business owners. It was formally approved by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board in mid-October.

Washington Healthplanfinder will allow visitors to make side-by-side plan comparisons based on factors such as cost and quality, and will also offer a calculator to help individuals determine if they qualify for financial assistance to help pay for their coverage. Help will be offered online, over the phone and in person for those who need additional assistance choosing and enrolling in a health plan.

For more information go to www.hca.wa.gov/hbe.

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