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You have one more day to sign up for health care in WA special enrollment period


A special enrollment period for health insurance during the coronavirus pandemic is about to end in Washington.

The deadline to sign up for a plan through the state’s health benefit exchange is Friday.

Michael Marchand, chief marketing officer for the exchange, says the special enrollment period first opened in March following the governor’s emergency declaration. It was extended in April.

“Because we knew that people who didn’t have insurance were unlikely to seek testing or health services if they fell ill,” Marchand said, “and that result would be bad, not just for the individual, but for their households and also for the state and community at large.”

The special enrollment period is for anyone who does not have health coverage right now.

It’s an opportunity to get health coverage if you’re uninsured. Insurance companies providing coverage through the exchange also have agreed to cover costs related to testing and treating COVID-19.

More than 19,500 people have signed up through the exchange since the special enrollment period was announced. But even after it ends, people who lose their jobs or have another so-called “qualifying event” can still sign up. Open enrollment starts again in November. Though the state’s Medicaid plan is available year-round.

You can sign up for coverage at


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Kirsten Kendrick has been hosting Morning Edition on KNKX/KPLU since 2006. She has worked in news radio for more than 30 years. Kirsten is also a sports lover. She handles most sports coverage at the station, including helping produce a two-part series on the 50th anniversary of Title IX and the ongoing series "Going Deep."
A Seattle native and former knkx intern, Simone Alicea has returned to the Pacific Northwest from covering breaking news at the Chicago Sun-Times. She earned her Bachelor's of Journalism from Northwestern University. During her undergraduate career, she spent time in Cape Town, South Africa, covering metro news for the Cape Times.