Contrary to the current political machinations, the Affordable Care Act is still the law of the land. To get health care coverage for calendar year 2018, you must enroll between November 1, 2017 and December 15, 2017. https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org.
What should I do? Get started now. There are many resources available to help you enroll in coverage. You will probably need to fill out multiple forms so it’s best to be prepared. Toll-free support is available at 1-855-923-4633; TTY 1-855-627-9604. Language assistance and disability accommodations are provided at no cost.
Visit https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org. This is the official site maintained by Washington State. It has many resources, including online enrollment, links to navigators who can assist in choosing a plan, and brokers. These resources are free of charge.
What happens if I miss open enrollment? It will be difficult for you to get health care coverage in 2018. Generally speaking, you need a life event to re-open a “qualification window.” An example of a life event is losing your job or having a baby. So it’s really important to apply for coverage during the open enrollment window.
But I’m not sure I can afford it. You may be eligible for premium assistance depending on your income. When you fill out your application, part of the process is to determine if you qualify for premium subsidies.
Do I qualify for the Medicaid expansion? You may qualify for Washington’s Medicaid expansion program, called Apple Health if you:
- Are age 19 through 64.
- Have annual household income at or below the Medicaid standard.
- Are a U.S. citizen or meet Medicaid immigration requirements.
- Are not incarcerated.
- Are not entitled to Medicare.
For more information on your eligibility, go to https://www.hca.wa.gov/free-or-low-cost-health-care/program-administration/program-standard-income-and-resources