On the Web:
- The Washington Health Benefit Exchange
Tuesday: A call center, where people can ask questions about insurance plans, opens. The number is 1-855-923-4633. It will be answered from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Help is available in 175 languages.
Oct. 1: Washington state residents can begin enrolling in new health insurance programs and Medicaid programs. They will do that through one Internet site. It is called the Washington Healthplanfinder. The site includes a calculator so people can see if they qualify for tax credits or reduced premiums. It will also include a list of insurance plans that people can apply for. Those will be offered by about four insurers, and will include about 30 plans. Not all insurers will cover all counties.
Jan. 1: Coverage begins.
March 31: Open enrollment ends for those who don’t qualify for Medicaid. It will begin again in the fall of 2014 for 2015. Enrollment is always open for those who qualify for Medicaid.
Of note: Under the law, most people must have health insurance by March 31 or they will pay an income tax penalty.
Local help on the way: Officials are working with local organizations to set up locations where people can come in person to ask questions, said Michael Marchand, communications director with the Health Benefit Exchange. Those organizations and locations are not yet established.