Health Insurance, Minorities, Public Health

Health insurance, now open to all; Enrollment starts Nov.1


Public Health Insider
Public Health – Seattle & King County

Open enrollment for health insurance starts November 1, 2023, and now everyone who lives in Washington State can purchase health and dental insurance – regardless of their immigration status.  

Starting this year, Washington Healthplanfinder has expanded access to health coverage to include immigrants who are undocumented. More Washingtonians than ever will have the opportunity to buy an insurance plan that covers important health care services.

And open enrollment isn’t just for new customers. People who lost their insurance coverage through Apple Health (Medicaid) this year might find very affordable options through Washington Healthplanfinder. Current customers may also benefit from renewing or switching their plan.

Low-cost options include “Cascade Care” plans, which provide more coverage before having to meet your deductible. The Cascade Care Savings program can provide financial assistance if you qualify.

From November 1 through January 15, all Washington residents can apply directly on You can also get help from a health insurance Navigator at Public Health-Seattle & King County by calling 1-800-756-5437 or visiting an event listed on

Get coverage regardless of immigration status

Starting November 1, Washington residents who are undocumented can buy health insurance coverage without fear.

“Buying health insurance will not affect immigration status or the ability to get a green card or become a U.S. citizen for you, your family, or anyone who lives with you,” said Daphne Pie, who manages King County’s network of health insurance Navigators.

Some important facts about buying health and dental plans through Washington Healthplanfinder:

  • You do not need US citizenship, a green card or other immigration papers.
  • Applying for or receiving health insurance, and receiving financial assistance to pay for the insurance, does not make you a “public charge.”
  • Your information is safe and will not be shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Federal and state laws protect the privacy of people who apply for health insurance.

People who are undocumented are not currently eligible for tax credits or financial assistance.

Find affordable health and dental options

Open enrollment happens every year from November 1 to January 15. During this time, Washington residents can sign up for health and dental plans through the state health insurance marketplace,

Plans on Washington Healthplanfinder include coverage for preventive care like annual exams, flu shots, mammograms, colonoscopies, COVID vaccines and more. These services are paid for by your health insurance at little or no cost to you.

Washington Healthplanfinder options include Cascade Care plans, which cover primary care visits, mental health services, and generic drugs without a deductible. Financial assistance can help pay your monthly premium if you enroll in a Cascade Care plan and meet income guidelines.

Get more information and free assistance

Shopping for health and dental coverage can feel complicated, but it doesn’t have to be hard. We can help.

  • Online – King County health outreach website: Answers to basic questions, plus locations and dates for in-person assistance
  • Online – Washington Healthplanfinder website: It’s easy to browse specific options, compare pricing, and see whether a key provider or prescription is covered
  • Phone: Public Health’s Community Health Access Program (CHAP) line at 1-800-756-5437 Get personal help with any part of the health insurance process.
  • Email questions to:
  • Special events for health insurance enrollment support are listed on the outreach website.

Check out this video on how to enroll, featuring Public Health Access & Outreach staff (also available in Spanish).