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Open enrollment is the period between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15 when you can choose from 115 Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) and seven Qualified Dental Plans (QDPs) for coverage beginning Jan. 1.

Find the healthcare plan that fits your lifestyle

You hear about it at election time, you're asked about it at the doctor's office, and you have to report it during tax time. It's your health insurance. Your coverage can come from a variety of places, and you make those decisions during a time called open enrollment.

It sounds mysterious and perhaps overwhelming. Washington Healthplanfinder, the state's marketplace for public and private health and dental plans, doesn't want you to feel that way. Here's a road map to guide you through the process of selecting the best possible healthcare for 2021.

What is open enrollment?

Open enrollment is the period between Nov. 1 and Dec. 15 when you can choose from 115 Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) and seven Qualified Dental Plans (QDPs) for coverage beginning Jan. 1. If you don't have a job that offers health insurance, or you want to shop around for other plans that may be better than what your employer provides, open enrollment is your opportunity to choose the plan that's right for you. Individuals, families, immigrants, tribal members, and businesses are all eligible to enroll.

What is new this year?

Insurance is more important now than ever because of the COVID-19 pandemic. New Cascade Care plans address that need by providing more options, increased value, and competitive deductibles. No matter what plan you choose, Cascade Care operates under a cost-sharing principle across insurance carriers, keeping deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurance consistent. Cascade Care deductibles cost an average of $1,000 less than other plans.

During this round of open enrollment, customers can look forward to two or more carriers in every county and lower average premium costs and deductibles than in previous years.

When can you start the process?

You can visit at any time between now and Dec. 15. First-timers can begin their coverage plans, and current customers can renew their plans or make changes. Make sure you have all the essential documents required to make the process go as smoothly as possible.

Available options

Anything you see on the Washington Healthplanfinder has to meet a certain quality threshold for coverage. Each plan has to cover doctor and ER visits, prescriptions, prenatal and postnatal care, mental health treatment, lab tests, and more. Beyond that, there is a hierarchy system sorted by bronze, silver, and gold levels that allow you to customize your coverage plan based on how you live or plan to live in the next year. Preventive care services are included in most of these plans for free.

How Washington Healthplanfinder can help you choose your coverage

If you're still confused, don't worry. Washington Healthplanfinder is prepared to take the guesswork out of choosing a plan for how you're living now. You can visit any of the 11 full-service enrollment centers throughout the state, schedule virtual video or phone assistance, or log onto the WAPlanfinder mobile app. Each center offers free, confidential assistance, as well as cultural, linguistic, and disability support.

Visit now to start choosing your health coverage for the year. You can also find Washington Healthplanfinder on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Customer support is available toll-free at 1-855-923-4633.