Buying health insurance frequently asked questions
I am about to lose my health coverage. I have a serious medical condition and need to get new insurance. Is there a health plan I can buy?
Currently, if no other comparable insurance is available to you, you may qualify for the Washington State Health Insurance Pool (WSHIP). WSHIP provides health insurance for people who are unable to buy individual coverage in the private marketplace.
The plan provides comprehensive coverage, including a prescription-drug benefit. For more information, visit WSHIP’s website (www.wship.org) or call 800-877-5187.
Under health reform, for policies insurers issued on and after Jan. 1, 2014, they cannot limit or deny you health insurance if you have a medical issue.
I want to buy an individual health plan through the state of Washington. How do I go about it?
To learn about the available health plans, contact the Washington State Health Care Authority (www.hca.wa.gov) or call 800-826-2444. The insurance commissioner does not regulate their programs. Be aware that due to health reform, some of the programs they offer, such as Basic Health and the Washington Health Program, will end Dec. 31, 2013.
I need medical care but don’t have enough money to buy insurance. How do I obtain public health services?
The Washington State Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) manages many public health services. For more information, contact the local Community Service Office (CSO) nearest you. To find contact information for your CSO, visit DSHS's information and resources website (www.dshs.wa.gov).
If you can't afford health care coverage, there are also other options to help you cover costs.
Also, with health reform starting Jan. 1, 2014, depending on your income, you may qualify for Medicaid or help with premium costs if you buy a health plan through the Washington Healthplanfinder.