Cascade Select (public option)

Cascade Select is Washington’s public option plan offered under Cascade Care. Cascade Care is a multi-agency effort involving Health Benefit Exchange (HBE), Health Care Authority (HCA), and Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC). HBE manages Cascade Care and HCA is responsible for procuring Cascade Select plans.


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.

Cascade Care offers health insurance coverage options on the individual market through Washington’s Healthplanfinder (offered by HBE).

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.

Want to enroll in a Cascade Care or Cascade Select plan?

Now through December 15, 2022, you can enroll in health care coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder