Cascade Care

Cascade Care offers health insurance coverage options on the individual market through Washington’s Healthplanfinder (offered by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, or HBE). Cascade Care is a multi agency effort involving HBE, Health Care Authority (HCA), and Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC).


    HCA initiated a procurement and successfully contracted with five public option carriers, as authorized under Senate Bill 5526 in 2019. Procurement for Cascade Care plans began in February 2020 and Cascade Select plans (public option) were first offered through Washington Healthplanfinder in 2021.

    Senate Bill 5377, which passed during the 2021 legislative session, provides additional guidance for Cascade Care.  


    The goals of Cascade Select are to increase the availability of quality, affordable health care coverage in the individual market, and ensure residents in every Washington county have a choice of qualified health plans.

    Difference between Cascade Care and Cascade Select plans

    A Cascade Care plan has a standard benefit design that emphasizes lower deductibles and providing access to services before having to pay the deductible. Customers can make “apples to apples” comparisons across different insurance carriers because the benefits are the same.

    A Cascade Select plan is Washington’s public option and has the same standard benefit design, along with additional requirements, such as:

    • Incorporating community quality standards
    • Value-based purchasing
    • Ensuring aggregate limits on provider reimbursement

    These standards help increase access to high-value care at a lower cost.