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HealthCare Checkup

The Seattle Times health-care team tracks the local impact of the Affordable Care Act.

Topic: Richard Onizuka

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December 23, 2014 at 11:09 AM

For health insurance starting Jan. 1, enroll by 5 p.m. today

New ad promoting the Washington Healthplanfinder exchange. Washington consumers who want health insurance coverage beginning Jan. 1 must renew or sign up and make their first payment by 5 p.m. today. So far only half of the 130,000 customers who currently have health insurance purchased through the state’s online exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder, have taken steps to…


Comments | Topics: Affordable Care Act, health insurance, Healthplanfinder

November 18, 2014 at 6:17 PM

Lawmakers voice anger with insurance exchange’s technical troubles

Updated Washington Healthplanfinder home page. State lawmakers on Tuesday voiced their continued frustration with the technical problems still afflicting the Washington Healthplanfinder insurance exchange. On Saturday, the first day of enrollment for the second round of insurance signups on the exchange, the site was live for only a couple of hours before a technical error was discovered and…


Comments | Topics: Richard Onizuka, Washington Health Benefit Exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder

August 28, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Health-benefit exchange budget grows; will more spending mean more revenue?

Washington’s exchange will ask the state Legislature to lift its cap on allocations from the general fund, hoping for a budget that avoids cutting allocations for in-person assisters and advertising. Because revenue generated by the exchange goes into the state’s general fund, to be doled out later by the Legislature, the $59.2 budget approved by the exchange board…


Comments | Topics: exchange budget, Healthplanfinder, Richard Onizuka

April 1, 2014 at 5:02 PM

Insurance enrollment spikes on final day; state softens stance on extensions

Procrastinators gave a giant bump to the number of health plans sold through Washington’s new exchange, with 8,000 people enrolling during the final day of sign ups. By the close of the Affordable Care Act’s first enrollment period on March 31, more than 146,000 residents bought insurance through the Washington Healthplanfinder. Nationally, the White…


Comments | Topics: Affordable Care Act, deadline, enrollment

February 25, 2014 at 7:32 PM

With deadline in sight, health-insurance signups rise steadily

With little more than a month to go before the March 31 cutoff to sign up for health insurance this year, Washington Healthplanfinder has passed a milestone, with more than 100,000 residents now enrolled in commercial health plans through the state’s online marketplace. Signups for the expanded Medicaid program topped 202,000 newly eligible adults as of Feb. 20,…


Comments | Topics: Affordable Care Act, Richard Onizuka, Washington Health Benefit Exchange

January 14, 2014 at 6:04 PM

270,000 residents insured through state exchange

Richard Onizuka, chief executive officer for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which operates Washington Healthplanfinder.

Richard Onizuka, chief executive officer for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which operates Washington Healthplanfinder.

More than 270,000 Washington residents have secured health care coverage through the state’s new health insurance exchange, officials announced Tuesday.

From Oct. 1 to Jan. 9, some 73,098 residents bought insurance through Washington Healthplanfinder insurance exchange, according to new data. In addition, nearly 200,000 of the enrollees are new participants in the Medicaid program, which locally goes by the name Washington Apple Health. An additional 183,141 former Medicaid recipients have renewed their coverage.

Approximately three-quarters of those enrolling through the exchange qualified for a federal tax break to reduce the cost of their coverage, according to data through the end of the year. The subsidies are available to people earning up to 400 percent of the U.S. poverty line. That comes to approximately $45,000 for an individual.

Residents have until March 31 to enroll in an insurance plan that will provide coverage this year. Medicaid — a federal program providing free health care — offers enrollment year round.


Comments | Topics: Affordable Care Act, health insurance, Healthplanfinder

December 20, 2013 at 9:48 PM

Healthplanfinder’s last-minute tips and updates

At Washington Healthplanfinder, the online exchange marketplace now processing applications for health insurance and tax credits, a last-minute surge means customer-support staffers will be working through the weekend. Over the past week, 17,000 people have enrolled, bringing the total to more than 50,000 individuals who have selected and bought a private health plan, Healthplanfinder officials said. The looming deadline for…


Comments | Topics: Apple Health, health insurance, Medicaid

December 18, 2013 at 7:03 PM

State exchange officials report surging applications, smoother experience

Officials from five state health exchanges agreed that the challenges have been daunting and that indications over the past couple of weeks are very encouraging, with consumers signing up for insurance at a rapidly rising rate as the deadline approaches for obtaining coverage by Jan. 1. In a media conference call hosted Wednesday morning by Families USA,…


Comments | Topics: Covered California, Richard Onizuka, Washington Health Benefit Exchange

November 12, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Healthplanfinder tax-credit goof was $100 a month on average

If you enrolled in a health plan through Washington Healthplanfinder last month and were given a tax credit to help cover the cost, you might want to check your Healthplanfinder account. The Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which operates the online exchange marketplace, has begun posting notices to the Healthplanfinder accounts of about 8,000 state residents affected…


Comments | Topics: Richard Onizuka, tax credit, Washington Healthplanfinder