The state is now giving users of its Health Benefit Exchange marketplace the chance to automatically renew coverage.
The Washington Health Benefit Exchange, the state’s insurance exchange is now giving people the opportunity to use its website in order to allow residents of the state to be able to automatically renew their health plans for 2015 without having to take additional steps.
The marketplace is now sending out renewal letters to customers, as are many insurers.
Starting this week the insurance exchange and individual providers have been sending out letters in order to notify consumers with regards to any changes that are occurring to their benefits. This is meant to help to prepare them for the open enrollment window, which opens up on November 15. According to the chief executive officer for the marketplace, Richard Onizuka, in a news release put out by that agency, “The great news is that most customers won’t need to take further action if they like the health plan they had last year.”
Approximately 100,000 customers who have used the insurance exchange can automatically renew coverage.
Among 147,000 customers, about 100,000 of them are potentially eligible to take advantage of this feature which requires them to do absolutely nothing as long as they want to continue with the same health plan that they already have.
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That said, it is important to note that while this will be very handy for many consumers, it may not be the ideal option for everyone, so it remains very important that consumers actually go over their coverage and make sure that they are still receiving the coverage that they need. Also, the insurance marketplace in the state is nearly doubling the number of health plans that it is offering, so that it will have almost 90 from which to choose, offered by 10 different insurers.
For 2014, there had been eight insurers on the insurance exchange, offering 46 different plans. Clearly, there are more options now, which means that consumers may be able to find the coverage that they require but for a better price. Therefore, while the automatic renewal will be handy when the same plan is the best option, it is still recommended that people shop around first, to be sure that there isn’t a better priced alternative.