Get Covered!

Find a health plan that fits your needs and budget—
Key Open Enrollment Period Through January 31, 2017

WHAT You Need To Know

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a program that allows nearly all persons to obtain health insurance coverage at an affordable rate and, in some instances, at no cost. The ACA was created to ensure that everyone can obtain access to the healthcare they need. Persons cannot be denied health insurance coverage due to a sickness or prior health issue. 

Apple Health Medicaid enrollments or renewals are continuous throughout the year.  Based on your income, you may qualify for the Apple Health Medicaid program.  This program provides healthcare at no cost to you.

If you do not qualify for Apple Health, you will be provided with other health insurance plan options to choose from.  What you pay for these other plans depends on what you earn each year.

WHEN to Sign Up

Open enrollment for 2017 is November 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017. During this period you can select and enroll in a qualified health plan.

  • For coverage that begins on January 1, 2017 you must enroll and pay your premium to the insurance carrier by December 23, 2016.
  • If you enroll and pay your premium after December 23, 2016 and before open enrollment ends on January 31, 2017, your coverage will begin on February 1, 2017.
  • Once open enrollment ends on January 31, 2017 you can only enroll if you have a qualifying life event. If you have such an event, you have 60 days to either enroll in a qualified health plan for the first time, or change the plan you are enrolled in to more suitable coverage.
Enroll and pay your premium by: 2017 coverage effective date begins:
December 23, 2016 January 1, 2017
December 24, 2016 through January 31, 2017        February 1, 2017


WHERE to Find A Plan

Washington State has set up the new Health Benefit Exchange website to help you find and sign up for the health insurance plan that is best for you or you and your family. On, you'll find:

  • Types of coverage:
    • Based on your earnings, you may be able eligible for the new Medicaid program called Apple Health. This program provides healthcare at no cost to you.
    • If you do not qualify for Apple Health, you will be given other health insurance plan options to choose from. What you pay for these other plans depends on the earnings you make each year.
  • A tool to help estimate how much your health plan might cost you.
  • An overview of what is covered by a basic level of health insurance, such as doctor and emergency room visits, care for children (including dental and eye care), prescriptions, maternity and newborn care, and preventive care like cancer screenings and immunizations, and much more. 

Health Benefits Exchange—
Enrollment Options

Health Benefits Exchange enrollment options have changed for 2017; Exchange plans are offered by the following companies (listed alphabetically), see below for additional information: 

  • BridgeSpan Health Company
  • Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW)
  • Coordinated Care Corporation (Ambetter)
  • Group Health Cooperative 
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest 
  • LifeWise Health Plan of Washington 
  • Molina Healthcare of Washington 
  • Premera BlueCross 
  • Regence BlueShield 

“In-Network” Access to UW Medicine

UW Medicine is considered “in-network” for several health insurance plans offered on the Exchange. Generally, patients pay less out-of-pocket for services when providers are in-network as opposed to out-of-network. Typically, “out-of-network” services require patients to pay higher co-payments and deductibles or may not be covered by insurance at all. Therefore, when selecting an Exchange plan, it is important to consider whether you will have access to your preferred providers at in-network rates.

UW Medicine is considered in-network for Exchange plans offered by the following companies:

for UW Medicine in 2016
BridgeSpan Health Company Yes *
Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW) Yes
Coordinated Care Corporation (Ambetter) No
Group Health Cooperative **
Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest No
LifeWise Health Plan of Washington Yes
Molina Healthcare of Washington Yes
Premera Blue Cross (Heritage Signature) Yes +
Regence BlueShield * Yes *

* BridgeSpan & Regence BlueShield offer multiple “Accountable Health Networks”; the UW Medicine Accountable Health Network is “in-network” for UW Medicine. Members who select the Accountable Health Network will be required to select a primary care physician (PCP) within that provider network at the time of enrollment. There are no referral requirements by the PCP; however, it is essential that providers refer within the selected network the member has indicated on their member card to allow the member to receive the in-network benefit.

+ Premera Blue Cross offers PersonalCare plans that allow the member network and PCP flexibility.  UW Medicine is one of the networks included within the PersonalCare plans.

 ** UW Medicine is contracted with Group Health Cooperative plan for specialty services only, meaning that in-network access to UW Medicine services would first require referral or authorization from a primary care physician.

Before enrolling in an Exchange plan, confirm with both the plan and your medical provider(s) that your medical providers are part of the plan’s network. From time to time, networks change so you should also periodically confirm your provider’s network status even after you’ve enrolled in the plan. Be aware that health plans sold inside the Washington Health Benefit Exchange ( may offer different provider networks than those sold outside the Exchange.


How to Sign Up

  • Online at
  • By phone: Washington Healthplanfinder offers customer support to help you get the information you need to enroll in health coverage that best meets your needs and your budget. A trained representative will help educate you about your options and walk you through the enrollment process. Washington Healthplanfinder Customer Support Center is open to enroll individuals, families and small businesses in quality health coverage and answer questions about financial help and the enrollment process. Toll-free support is available from 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM Monday through Friday. Help will be available in up to 175 different languages. Call 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633) or TTY/TDD 1-855-627-9604.
  • At Valley Medical Center we have staff on-site to help you sign up. To make an appointment with an in-person navigator, call 425.656.5599 or 425.251.5178 option 3. Locations and operating hours listed below.
  • In-person support and help will be offered at many places throughout the greater Seattle and Puget Sound area, including hospitals, libraries, and other community organizations. Get help enrolling here.

When you are ready to apply, please bring the following with you:

  • Legal names
  • Family relationships for each member of the family unit
  • Birth dates
  • Identification numbers (Social Security Number or immigration information)
  • Proof of immigration status if you're a legal permanent resident
  • Proof of tribal status if you're a registered American Indian/Alaska Native
  • Income & tax filing information, which may include (for all household members applying for coverage):
    • Previous year's tax returns
    • Income before taxes
    • Proof of income—pay stubs or W-2 forms—if your income has changed since you last filed taxes
    • Anticipated changes in your filing status for the upcoming year (this is what you report on your IRS tax form)
  • Current health insurance information (coverage dates, group number and policy number)
  • Open Enrollment Renewal letter from the Washington HealthPlanFinder (if applicable)


Patient Enrollment Locations
at Valley Medical Center

Many who are currently uninsured are now eligible for free or low-cost healthcare. Certified In-Person Assistors (IPAs) at Valley Medical Center are specifically trained to assist with the new Health Insurance Exchange and Medicaid Expansion enrollment process.

Please call to schedule an appointment for assistance with your application process or with other questions.

Location Days Hours

VMC Main Campus: Financial Advocates
Main Admitting Department
400 S. 43rd Street
Renton, WA 98055
Ph: 425-656-5599 or 425-251-5178, option 3 

Monday – Friday 8 AM – 6 PM
VMC Emergency Department
400 S. 43rd Street
Renton, WA 98055
Monday – Sunday 8 AM – 6:30 PM
Patient Financial Services: Customer Service
3600 Lind Avenue, Suite 110
Renton, WA 98058
Ph: 425-656-5599 or 425-251-5178, option 3 
Monday – Friday 8 AM – 4:30 PM


For More Information



Learn about
Washington Healthplanfinder,
the new online marketplace
where you can:

  • Compare new health plans side-by-side
  • Find out if you are eligible for tax credits or financial help
  • Get answers to your questions
  • Enroll in a plan that fits your needs and budget