Health coverage for $100 or less coming soon to Washington

September 18th, 2013|

Fifty-six percent of Washingtonians currently without health insurance may be able to arrange coverage through wahealthplanfinder for less than $100 a month, Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, said today.

Keiser cited a report released by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the options available to Washingtonians as of Oct. 1, when individual and families may begin shopping for coverage through the new health insurance marketplace accessible here in Washington at www.wahealthplanfinder.org. The coverage would begin in January, giving those without coverage three months to decide which plan fits their needs best.

“Thanks to Obamacare and the changes we’re implementing in our state, more affordable health care is only a few months away,” Keiser said following a conference call with President Barack Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Quality, affordable coverage is about to become a reality for hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians.”

Those currently without coverage will be able to compare their options using side-by-side information about price, quality and benefits, Keiser said, and find out if they qualify for premium tax credits or Medicaid that lower the costs of coverage immediately.

Of the 41.3 million individuals across the country who are uninsured and eligible for coverage, 23.2 million (56 percent) may qualify for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or tax credits to purchase coverage for $100 or less per month.  The amount an individual will save on premiums depends on their family income and size.  The HHS report uses data about family income and size from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to estimate the number of uninsured individuals who will qualify for lower costs on monthly premiums.

The report also shows that if all 50 states took advantage of new options to expand Medicaid coverage, nearly 8 out of every 10 people (78 percent) who currently do not have insurance could be paying less than $100 a month for coverage under the Affordable Care Act, known more informally as Obamacare.  While some states are expanding their Medicaid programs in 2014, other states are not doing so.  Under the health care law, states can receive 100 percent federal funding in 2014 to expand their Medicaid programs to cover people with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level.  That’s about $15,800 a year for an individual, or about $32,500 for a family of four.

The full report is available at http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2013/Uninsured/ib_uninsured.pdf. To find out more about who qualifies for lower costs on monthly healthy insurance premiums, go to https://www.healthcare.gov/will-i-qualify-to-save-on-monthly-premiums/. To compare plans available here in Washington, go to http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org/.