One day before Washington prepares to launch its online insurance marketplace, Gov. Jay Inslee urged state residents to steer clear of scam artists and copycat websites seeking to capitalize on the new health-care exchange.
At a news conference Monday in Olympia, the governor emphasized there is only one official website where Washingtonians can compare health plans and enroll in coverage through the state’s health-care exchange, called Washington Healthplanfinder.
The official site is http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org/. “That is the real ticket,” Inslee said. “That is the real deal.”
State officials and consumer groups have been warning about an expected surge in identity-theft scams related to the launch of the exchange, as Patrick Marshall reported Monday in The Seattle Times.
Inslee urged residents to avoid giving out personal information to people who claim to need their banking and financial information in order to enroll them in health insurance.
He also advised anyone who notices suspicious websites to report those sites by calling the toll-free number for Healthplanfinder, which is 1-855-WAFINDER (or 1-855-923-4633).
Apart from the warning about potential fraud, Inslee sounded an upbeat note about the launch of the state’s health-care exchange, scheduled to open Tuesday at 7:30 a.m.
“There are some good deals out there,” Inslee said, referring to the premium rates for health plans that will be sold through the exchange and the federal tax credits available to individuals and families.
“If you’re a family of four with income under $32,500, you’re going to get essentially free health care,” he said.
Inslee also reiterated that a federal government shutdown, if one occurs, won’t prevent the exchange from opening on time.
“Despite the shenanigans in Washington, D.C., we’re ready to go in the state of Washington,” he said.