SEATTLE (AP) — With less than a week remaining in the open enrollment period for health insurance, state officials say the Washington health exchange has already beaten its goal for insurance sign-ups by 25,000 people.
Exchange spokesman Michael Marchand acknowledges a lot of the credit goes to the higher government penalty people will have to pay if they don't have health insurance this year.
Those fines have increased to the point that not getting insurance could cost as much as a few months of actually paying for insurance.
Adults who don't sign up for insurance this year will face penalties of at least $695 when they file their taxes in 2017. Families could be asked to pay more than $2,000 in fines if they don't buy insurance through the exchange, on the individual market or are covered through a workplace plan.
Ways to get help signing up for health insurance:
—On the phone: 1-855-923-4633, from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. to midnight on Sunday.
—By email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
—On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WAHealthplanfinder
—By calling an insurance broker or agent or an in-person navigator. A list of people can be found by zip code using the customer support link on http://wahealthplanfinder.org
—In person help can also be found on the same website under events.