Enroll your kids
Federal health reform prevents all health insurers from denying coverage to children under age 19 due to health issues.
However, all health plans - including individual health plans - can create open enrollment periods.
When you can enroll your children
With individual health plans (plans bought 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), from Oct. 1, 2013 to March 30, 2014. NOTE: Jan. 1, 2014 is the earliest possible date for exchange plans to take effect.
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
- Apple Health for Kids (www.hrsa.dshs.wa.gov): 877-543-7669
- Washington State Health Insurance Pool (WSHIP) (www.wship.org): 800-877-5187 (accepts all children)