The Affordable Care Act, which took affect in 2014, can potentially entail higher premiums; but it also offers offsetting savings as well. All health policies will have to cover 10 essential benefits, such as prescription drugs and rehabilitative care. More robust coverage typically entails higher costs. Thus, typical premiums for individual and small-group plans may indeed rise. However, tax credits, subsidized plans and reduced premiums may make yearly healthcare costs approximately equal or even lower for those that meet income criteria.
The new law provides for the Health Premium Tax Credit. Generally, you will qualify for this credit if your employer does not offer health coverage, you don’t currently receive Medicare and your annual household income is less than (For 2017):
Family of 1 -- $47,520.
Family of 2 -- $64,080.
Family of 3 -- $80,640.
Family of 4 -- $97,200.
Tax credits will be paid directly to insurance companies. This method is a benefit to both families and providers, speeding payment and saving families cash-flow problems while waiting for year-end refunds.
In addition to federal tax savings, Washington is one of 26 states expanding eligibility to both Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Medicaid will be available to legal residents aged 19 to 65 whose income is less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level. CHIP will expand coverage eligibility to dependents generally according to the same income guidelines.
Those who don’t meet federal and state criteria for tax credits or subsidized coverage may still qualify for reduced premiums and co-pays from providers. Health Insurance Exchange is your central source to find the coverage you and your family need at the lowest costs available. You can search through plans from multiple insurance companies according to both price and benefits.
For more information on the coming changes in health insurance and how they may affect your coverage, call Washington Health Insurance Exchange at 360-464-1622.
A Health Insurance Exchange is designed to make buying health coverage
easier and more affordable.
Use this website to see if you’re eligible for tax credits for private
insurance or health programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program
(CHIP) and Apple Health. Input your household income, county you live in,
and your age. Then simply press the green ‘go’ button.
The calculator will determine if you qualify for new federal financial
assistance that you can use right away to reduce the cost of monthly payments
and out-of-pocket expenses. You’ll be able to compare health plans, their
benefits and premiums, side-by-side.
If you do not qualify for financial assistance, we will be able to compare your options from top-rated private health carriers in the direct market. All new health plans in Washington cover pre-existing medical conditions and no one can be turned down for coverage.
Have questions or need help enrolling? Just call 360-464-1622 and a licensed health insurance professional will answer all of your questions, help you
choose the right health plan to meet your needs, and walk you through the
enrollment process step by step.
Washington Health Insurance Exchange is an approved division of the Washington Health Insurance Agency, featuring top performing producers on Washington’s Healthplanfinder and licensed by the Office of Insurance Commissioner.
Washington Health Insurance Exchange is also an approved agency for each
of the major private health insurance carriers in Washington including
Regence Blue Shield, Premera Blue Cross, Moda Health, LifeWise Health plans
of WA, Assurant Health, Kaiser, Group Health Cooperative and Group Health
Disclosure: The Washington Health Insurance Exchange website is designed to help Washington residents determine if they qualify for lower health premiums through the Washington Healthplanfinder and enroll in a qualified health plan with the assistance of a licensed broker in the state of Washington. Only independent licensed agents/brokers who are registered producers for Washington’s HealthPlanFinder are authorized to give advice and make recommendations regarding health plans in the healthplanfinder. Washington Health Insurance Exchange is a division of the Washington Health Insurance Agency whose agent/owner is a registered producer for wahealthplanfinder.org and a licensed producer in the state of Washington. Our staff and licensed agents are not government employees, employees of the state, or the Washington Health Plan Finder. We make no claim or claims to represent, constitute, and/or otherwise provide other services on behalf of the Washington HealthPlanFinder. Any and all suggestions, claims, and/or implications to the contrary are hereby denied.
Ten essential health benefits
Starting in 2014, The Affordable Care Act requires health-insurance plans,
both individual and small-group coverage, to provide essential benefits in at
least ten categories. In order to be certified and offered through
healthplanfinder, all policies must cover services in the following
Read More »
How affordable will the Affordable Care Act be?
The Affordable Care Act, which took affect in 2014, can potentially
entail higher premiums; but it also offers offsetting savings as well. All
health policies will have to cover [10 essential benefits], such as
prescription drugs and rehabilitative care. More robust coverage typically
entails higher costs. Thus, typical premiums for individual and small-group
plans may indeed rise. However, tax credits, subsidized plans and reduced
premiums may make yearly healthcare costs approximately equal or even lower
for those that meet income criteria.
Read More »
What is the premium tax credit?
The premium tax credit is an advanceable, refundable tax credit designed
to help eligible individuals and families with low or moderate income afford
health insurance purchased through the healthplanfinder, beginning
in 2014. You can choose to have the credit paid in advance to your insurance
company to lower what you pay for your monthly premiums, or you can claim all
of the credit when you file your tax return for the year. If you choose to
have the credit paid in advance, you will reconcile the amount paid in
advance with the actual credit you compute when you file your tax return.
Read More »
FAQ – Updated for 2017
When will I be required to get health insurance?
The Affordable Care Act went into effect on January 1, 2014, requiring US Citizens and those lawfully present to obtain Minimal Essential Coverage. Enrollment in any of the plans presented on this site and carried for 10-out–12 months will satisfy the mandate. Other means include Medicare, Employer Sponsored Coverage, Tri-Care, COBRA, Medicaid. For exemptions, we recommend visiting HealthCare.Gov.
What is the penalty if I remain uninsured?
Those who remain uninsured in 2016 will be subject to a minimum penalty of $695/adult and $347.50/child OR 2.5 percent of household income, with a maximum penalty of $2,085. For 2017 and beyond the rate will remain constant at 2.5%, but the flat fee will adjust based on inflation.
Why should I visit Washington Health Insurance Exchange?
We’ve created this website for our clients to quickly and easily shop and compare all their options, side-by-side. Multiple providers compete for your business. You can search for plans according to price, coverage options and that include your current doctor. Depending on income level, you may qualify for free coverage or lower premiums and co-pays.
Why do my premiums keep going up?
Carriers have suffered incredible losses over the past few years since the ACA went live, especially those offering PPO plans (plans allowing you to pick and choose your provider with nation-wide networks). Many carriers have exited the market altogether – Moda, United Health and Assurant have all pulled out of Washington over the past few years. Aetna, (one of Nation’s largest health insurance companies) has also pulled their plans from markets nationwide. In Washington State, if you pull a product line from the market, you can’t re-enter for 5 years. So, this is not a decision that the carriers take lightly. Carriers are left with raising the premiums and negotiating tougher contracts with Providers in order to account for the rising cost of health care and account for past/projected losses.
Will I still be able to see my current physician?
This is becoming more and more difficult as Health Insurers are moving to much narrower networks in order to control costs, improve care and better coordinate your experience navigating health care delivery systems. Our site enables you to sort plans by provider; so you can choose a plan that includes access to your doctor.
Limited Networks – What are Accountable Health Networks?
Several carriers in populous areas in Washington State are moving to Accountable Health Network plans. These Plans require you to partner with a specific medical group and obtain your medical services there. The ability to go outside the Medical Group is fairly limited and does require a referral and potentially an exception request.
Premera’s AHN’s – The Everett Clinic, EvergreenHealth Partners, MultiCare, NorthWest Physicians Network, UW and Virginia Mason
You are probably seeing this term pop-up more and more. It stands for “Exclusive Proivder Organization”. Which means that these type of plans don’t offer any out-of-network or out-of-area coverage. Carriers are moving to these to control costs. They still have fairly significant networks in the state - however, they only provide coverage for emergency services outside Washington.
I can’t afford health insurance. What now?
If you meet eligibility requirements, you may qualify for free or at deeply reduced premiums. Tax credits, expanded eligibility for Medicaid, and other subsidies will take effect in 2014, helping those in need afford coverage. Use this site to see what your estimated premium, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs will be before you enroll. There are a few ObamaCare alternative products out there as well – contact us for more information.
When is open enrollment?
The fifth open-enrollment period for buying insurance through an exchange begins on November 1 2017 and ends January 15 2018. Coverage purchased by Dec 15th 2017 will have a January 1 2018 effective date.
What if I already have coverage?
If you already have health insurance through your job, Medicaid, Medicare or another individual plan, any changes may be minimal. However, you may have access to additional benefits like preventative screenings, emergency services and prescription-medicine coverage. If you pay for your own coverage, you may qualify for new tax credits and financial assistance. You will also be able to insure adult children up to age 26.
Will I quality for a tax credit?
Individuals – $16,394 to $47,520 Couples – $22,107 to $64,080 Families of four – $33,534 to $97,200
Credits are based on a sliding scale, and are NOT available for those who are eligible for Medicaid, Medicare or who are eligible for coverage through an employer - recipients must be a US citizen or lawfully present, not incarcerated and reside in Washington.
What if I have questions that aren’t answered on the site?
Call us at 360–464–1622. We look forward to answering your questions and helping you choose the plan that’s best for you and your family.
Your Privacy is Important! We will not share your personal information with anyone outside of our organization except as required to secure your insurance coverage.
We will not sell or share your personal information with any third party and we will maintain the highest professional standards of confidentiality and integrity.
Washington Health Insurance Exchange is a division of the Washington Health
Insurance Agency whose agent/owner is a registered producer for
wahealthplanfinder.org and a licensed producer in the state of Washington.
Our staff and licensed agents are not government employees, employees of
the state, or the Washington Health Plan Finder. We make no claim or claims
to represent, constitute, and/or otherwise provide other services on behalf
of the Washington HealthPlanFinder. Any and all suggestions, claims, and/or
implications to the contrary are hereby denied.