Posted on December 18, 2013 at 6:00 am
by Aileen L.
The Affordable Health Care Act, the ACA, healthcare reform, or Obama Care …whatever you choose to call it, big changes are in store for the way we select and purchase health insurance. As of March 31, 2014, most everyone will be required to have health insurance. Since the Affordable Health Care Act passed, Washington State has worked to get ready for the new law. Open enrollment began October 1, 2013 and Washington’s Health Insurance website is now available.
What does this mean for you? It depends. Most people who currently have coverage through their employer will not need to do anything and little will change. In fact, some may see their benefits expand. However, if you are one of the 45 million in this country with no health insurance you will have to find coverage.
Here in Washington, the Healthplanfinder website will help you do that in one easy stop. Go the site and enter your information about your family and income. Based on that information, you will know right away whether you are eligible for a tax subsidy to help pay for insurance premiums, whether you qualify for Washington’s expanded Medicare, or what your individual choices are for health insurance. At this same site you can compare all the plans sold in your county and select the one that best suits your family’s needs.
If you are not comfortable with computers, you will have other options. Applications for insurance may be submitted by regular mail, completed over the phone, or with the help of a trained “in-person assister.” To find out how to contact an In Person Assister or for more information, please see http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org/ or call (1-855-WAFINDER/ 1-855-923-4663).
The Library District is holding monthly in-person informational sessions and providing scheduled help through trained navigator appointments. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit the SCLD Washington Health Plan Finder page.