The most important thing to know is that the Affordable Care Act makes it difficult for insurance companies to deny coverage during the open enrollment period. Pre-existing conditions cannot be used against you; financial or employment history cannot be used against you, and coverage options are available for many in the criminal justice-involved population as well (see footnote 1). The days of insurance companies denying coverage because they don’t like a person’s health history are mercifully behind us.
The second most important thing to know is that affordable health insurance is available. According to the AARP, a King County household with two adults and two children with annual income of $50,000 can purchase a Silver Plan for about $276 per month. This is possible because such a household qualifies for an estimated $423 per month in premium assistance from the government. The same household making $35,000 qualifies for $591 in premium assistance, paying an estimated $108 per month for all four members. And insurance companies cannot raise your premiums during the year if you get sick. You can explore the subsidy calculator by clicking here: http://aarp.lampprod1.iqsolutions.com/en/subsidy-calculator.
It cannot be stressed enough that you must apply during the open enrollment period. If you miss the open enrollment period, it will be very difficult to gain coverage before next year’s open enrollment period. There are good reasons for this, so don’t wait.
So tell your family, friends, and co-workers. Let’s make this the first year where everybody in Washington has access to health care.
Nov 1 Open enrollment begins. Coverage begins January 1
Dec 15 last day to get insurance that begins January 1
Jan 15 Open enrollment ends.*
You may hear often that Dec 15 is the last day of Open Enrollment. That’s true in many states, but not Washington. Washington is one of eleven states that runs its own health care exchanges and exchange administrators keep the open enrollment period going until January 15th. (if you miss the Dec 15 “soft deadline”, your coverage will start after January 15th, so sign up today to get covered by January 1).