Information for Residents

Coverage is Here! Information for Residents

 

How will I find out if my family is eligible for free or low-cost health insurance?

Starting October 1, 2013 residents will be able to visit Washington HealthPlanFinder to shop for health insurance for coverage to begin on January 1, 2014. For hundreds of thousands of people, health insurance will be free or at a much lower cost than is now available.

 HealthPlanFinder is a program of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, and provides a single point of contact for any business, individual or family who is looking for health coverage.

 If you are a Washington State resident, you will be able to call and have a customer service representative walk you through the process of getting health insurance for you and your family. Based on your income, you may be enrolled in Medicaid-funded health care or receive discounts to purchase your choice of commercial insurance.

 The whole process is expected to take between 15 minutes and an hour, and you can also apply via the web, in-person, or through the mail.

 All the plans offered by the Washington HealthPlanFinder are required to have good levels of coverage. You can learn more about the levels at http://wahbexchange.org/about-the-exchange/policy-discussion/.

 

Why is the Medicaid Expansion and health insurance enrollment important to hospitals in Washington State?

Emergency departments all over Washington State are full of patients who are struggling with treatable and manageable conditions—but no health insurance. Because they don’t have access to preventive care, they suffer unnecessarily and potentially lose years of their lives.

 In addition, thousands of Washington families are at serious economic risk by living without health insurance. An unexpected injury or illness is a significant threat to the stability of many working families—a threat that could be drastically reduced by having health coverage.

 The expansion of Medicaid-funded programs and subsidized health insurance will help hundreds of thousands of our neighbors improve their health, get connected to primary care services, and improve their economic well-being.

 Having more residents with health insurance is also good for hospitals. Our state hospitals are being cut about $300 million a year to help fund the Affordable Care Act, based on the assumption that more patients will have health insurance.

 Read more about Washington State Hospitals’ Support for Medicaid Expansion: http://wsha-archive.seattlewebgroup.com/medicaidexpansion.cfm

 Read about the public’s support for Medicaid expansion: Statewide Support for Medicaid Expansion with Editorials