Enroll your kids
Federal health reform prevents health insurers from denying coverage to children under age 19 due to health issues.
However, most health plans - including individual health plans - will only let you enroll your kids during specific open enrollment periods.
When you can enroll your children
With individual health plans (you buy directly from an insurance company, not through an employer) parents can add their children to their policy or buy a policy for their child from:
- March 15 to April 30
- Sept. 15 to Oct. 31
- Also, parents can buy a plan for their child through Washington state's health insurance exchange, also called the Washington Healthplanfinder (www.wahealthplanfinder.org), through March 30, 2014.
Individual health coverage always starts on the 1st of the month. So, if you want coverage to start the next month, you'll need to apply before the 20th.
Exceptions to open enrollment
You don't need to wait for open enrollment as long as you submit your child's application within 31 days of when the:
- Child no longer qualifies for a state program
- Child loses coverage due to a divorce
- Parent's employer coverage (including COBRA) ends
- Child moves and their plan isn't available in the new location
- You enroll within 60 days of the child's birth, adoption or placement for adoption.
Options outside of open enrollment
Also, if your child qualifies for the state's Apple Health (www.hrsa.dshs.wa.gov) program, then you can apply at anytime throughout the year. You can apply on online (www.washingtonconnection.org) or by calling: 877-543-7669.