Enrollment opens Wednesday for 2018 health plans

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington residents can sign up for 2018 health or dental coverage through the state’s health exchange starting Wednesday.

Officials who run the state marketplace for individual health insurance plans say 13 locations across the state will be available to help people get personalized help. Those locations open Wednesday but people can schedule appointments now.

New and current customers are encouraged to shop and compare 2018 coverage options.

The deadline is Dec. 15 for coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2018. Meanwhile, enrollment ends Jan. 15 for coverage dates beginning on Feb. 1, 2018.

More than 300,000 people in Washington, or about 5 percent of the state’s population, do not get health insurance from their employer and must buy a plan through the individual health insurance market.

Over 225,000 people signed up for coverage last year during open enrollment period.