Washington State Health Insurance Exchange

This page includes historic public policy information related to the development of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. We cannot answer questions about the Exchange’s current status or operations.

If you are looking for health coverage for you or your family, here is how to contact Washington Healthplanfinder:

 Online: www.wahealthplanfinder.org to enroll in health coverage or to find in-person assistance

Phone: 1-855-WAFINDER or 1-855-923-4633

Email: customersupport@wahbexchange.org

For information about how WSHA is involved in outreach and enrollment activities, visit wsha-archive.seattlewebgroup.com/coverageishere.cfm or email Mary Kay Clunies-Ross at marykaycr@wsha.org.

Under the federal Affordable Care Act, by January 2014, states must be operating a health insurance exchange or implementation will fall to the federal government. The exchange will serve as a marketplace for individuals and small businesses (up to 100 employees) to purchase qualified health insurance. The exchange will allow individuals with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level to receive subsidized health insurance. In Washington State, as many as 400,000 people could be served by an exchange.

With bipartisan support, the 2011 Washington State Legislature enacted Senate Bill 5445, establishing a health insurance exchange. The Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) received a $23 million federal grant to begin implementation work. The HCA will use the grant to create operational plans, develop the technical infrastructure, and analyze key policy decisions critical to establishing an exchange.  WSHA is involved in the implementation process and has created a work group of hospital and health system representatives to inform the discussions.

 WSHA Summary on State Exchange

This summary describes the planning process for Washington State in establishing an exchange and provides some background information regarding the provisions in the law.

 Senate Bill 5445 – Establishing a Health Insurance Exchange

The implementing legislation enacted in 2011 by the Washington State Legislature.

Washington State Health Care Authority

Provides links to state legislation, analysis and assessment reports (including a Milliman study regarding the impact of the exchange on enrollment and costs in Washington State), federal guidance documents, and issue briefs.

 A Profile of Health Insurance Enrollees

The Kaiser Family Foundation report describes the 24 million Americans the Congressional Budget Office expects will be purchasing private health insurance through the new state-based exchanges.

Federal Basic Health Option

An Urban Institute Paper describing the federal Basic Health Plan Option for states. 

Establishing Health Insurance Exchanges: An Update on State Efforts

This brief, by the Kaiser Family Foundation, reviews states’ implementation progress, examines choices and challenges, and summarizes the early trends around exchanges.

 Multi-State Health Insurance Exchanges

This study, issued by the Urban Institute, analyzes the rationale and impact of creating a multi-state exchange as permitted under the Affordable Care Act.


Chelene Whiteaker
(206) 216-2545