The NEW way to sign up for Premera Direct Plans

The short answer is DON’T sign up for a plan Directly from Premera!

TO PRINT: (2016 Premera paper application) Must send in by 1/31/2016 for a February 1st or March 1st effective date.

Premera has made it extremely difficult for those want want to sign up for Individual Health Insurance directly from them…on purpose. I completely understand why they made this decision, but don’t agree as to how they did it. Here is what to do. Call us at 425-802-2783, as this has now gotten complex (even for me).

There are two ways to sign up for a Premera plan:

1. Direct to Premera (used to take about 15 minutes, now it will take several hours)

2. Through the WA HealthPlanFinder Exchange, takes about 1-hour (where you can ONLY get Tax Credits)

2016 Tax Credit LevelIf your income is above the level where you get Tax Credits it’s the same cost to sign up directly through Premera, or through the Washington Exchange. This process all changed on Friday the 13th, pun fully intended…

Since everyone that applies is Guaranteed Insurable, this means anyone that is a resident of Washington State is accepted, no exclusion for pre-existing conditions (which is a good thing). However, there as been a significant amount of people from out of state or the country sign up for a few months, get a whole bunch of medical work done, then drop the plan. This leaves Premera with untold millions of dollars of expenses for only a few thousand dollars of premium dollars coming in. That’s not fair.

To prevent this injustice Premera took some dramatic steps to reduce this abuse of the system.

Now the two ways to sign up for a Premera plan have changed.

1. To sign up Directly from Premera you will need to print out a paper application and physically mail it along with 5 pieces of personal identification (see list below) that you are a resident of Washington State. These all need to show your current residential address…so if you have moved and have a different address that piece of identification will NOT work.

2. Through the Washington Exchange…this option is looking significantly easier now.


  Change in Proof of Residency Requirements

Proof of residency means the following:

A valid WA driver’s license, state-issued identification card, tribal or military identification that includes the applicant’s photograph and current residential address.

Plus any one of the following documents:

Current lease or rental agreement
A filed property deed or title for your current residence
Home utility bill (such as gas, electricity, water, garbage, landline telephone, or cable) or hook-up work order dated within the past 60 days
Voter registration card

Plus any one of the following documents:

Latest credit card statement or bank statement
Professional license (nurse, physician, engineer, etc.)
A Professionally-filed tax return or filed copy sent to you by the IRS for the most recent tax filing year
IRS W-2 form for the most recent tax year
Current paystub from employer

Proof of residency is required only for the primary applicant applying for coverage.

As a reminder, we are no longer accepting online applications for off-exchange enrollment. We are accepting paper applications for 2015 and 2016 effective dates.

The mailing address is:


PO Box 327 M/S 295
Seattle, WA 98111-0327


A complete copy of each document must be submitted. All documents must show the applicant’s full name and current residential address and the addresses on all five documents must match the application address. A post office or mail delivery address is not acceptable.

Honestly, the easiest way to sign up for a Premera plan is now through the WA Exchange. The problem is that your entire family has to be on the same plan if you all want Premera through the Exchange, or you can add someone to a Group Health Cooperative PPO plan if someone wants a Gold and the rest of the family wants a Bronze.

My advise is to give us a call at 425-802-2783 or simply go to another carrier! In 2016 the Group Health Cooperative Access PPO plans are about 20% cheaper than Premera for a similar network (First Choice). They are exceptional plans, yet every carrier has pro’s and con’s.

Below are our areas of expertise:

Gary Franke, MBA
Independent Broker
Achieve Alpha Insurance, LLC           
12507 Bel-Red Rd, Ste 103
Bellevue, WA 98005
(425) 802-2783

Achieve Alpha