On October 1, 2013 part of the national health care reform begins. A Health Insurance Marketplace will make it easy for Washington residents to compare qualified health plans, get answers to questions, find out if they are eligible for lower costs for private insurance or health programs like Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and enroll in health coverage. Here are some of the highlights:
- Under the health care law, if your plan covers children, you can now add or keep your children on your health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.
- Ends Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions for Children: Health plans can no longer limit or deny benefits to children under 19 due to a pre-existing condition.
- Lifetime limits on most benefits are banned for all new health insurance plans.
- Yearly wellness visit and many free preventative services for some seniors with Medicare.
- Washington Healthplanfinder: Apples-to-apples comparisons of health insurance plans; financial help to pay for copays and premiums; expert customer support online, by phone, or in-person through a local organization, insurance broker or agent.
- Washington Health Benefit Exchange: The Exchange is responsible for the creation of Washington Healthplanfinder, an easily accessible, online marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses to find, compare and enroll in qualified health insurance plans.
- The Washington Healthplanfinder Toll-Free Customer Support Center opens September 3, 2013 to start answering questions about health coverage options, how to access financial help and what you need to know about the enrollment process. Call center business hours will be 7:30 am – 8:00 pm Monday through Friday. Help will be available in up to 175 different languages. Call 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633) or TTY/TTD 1-855-627-9604.
- Consumer Reports HealthLawHelper. Gives consumers accurate and unbiased information about the new healthcare law and how it affects them.
- A user's guide: 20 things to know about the Affordable Care Act. The Seattle Times provides a clear overview of how the ACA will impact the average American and what you can expect.
- Obamacare: Answers to your most pressing questions. Another useful article from the Seattle Times in question-and-answer format covering the basics you should know, upcoming changes, and other vital information about the Affordable Care Act.
In Your Library:
The library provides computers with internet access for you to find the right health insurance plan. Live, in-person program sessions providing an overview of available healthcare options and individual assistance may be available at some Sno-Isle libraries. Please check with your local library or bookmark this page to check back soon.