Learn more about each insurance carrier here: Cigna, Cigna PDP. Compare health insurance quotes from nearby states: Oregon Health Insurance, Idaho Health Insurance
When researching your health insurance options in the state of Washington there are several things to keep in mind. If your employer does not offer benefits, are you healthy enough to obtain health insurance on the individual market? If so, HealthPlanOne can be of service to you in quoting plans appropriate for your needs and price range. Are you self-employed, owning your own business and employing between 2-50 employees? HealthPlanOne can also assist small business owners in obtaining small group coverage. Do you have any pre-existing conditions, disabilities, or are you below an income level which could qualify you for free or low-cost health care programs offered by the government? You may be eligible in Washington for Medicaid, SCHIP, prescription assistance and other options, or the high risk pool. Eligibility requirements for each of these options are available on this page.
Click here to learn about Washington Medicare plans.
What Every Washington Resident Should Know About Health Insurance
The type of health insurance familiar to most consumers is group coverage offered by an employer. With group health insurance through your employer the policy is partially paid for by the company on behalf of their employees. The company will contribute a large percentage toward the monthly premium and you (the employee) will be responsible for paying the difference, about 16-27%. With group plans you have little choice in the specific benefits of the plan (these are determined by negotiations between the company and the insurance carrier) but you also cannot be denied coverage under the group plan no matter what prescriptions you may take or preexisting conditions you may have. By insuring a large group of employees together under one plan of the company's choosing, individual employees are not subject to medical underwriting; rather the entire group is underwritten as a whole to determine the premium level everyone will pay. Therefore, the amount you pay in premiums as well as the quality of the coverage you receive are dependent not on how healthy you are or what benefits you would like to have, but how healthy your group is as a whole and what benefits the company has chosen for you.
Unfortunately, companies frequently have a waiting period before new employees can qualify to receive health insurance benefits. If this is the case with your new job, consider getting a short-term policy from the point where your previous coverage ends to the time when your new company's insurance kicks in. Such options are available through HealthPlanOne. Simply visit our Short-Term information page for your free quotes.
It is important not to have a lapse in coverage of more than 63 days. If you do, your new insurance carrier may refuse to cover treatment for pre-existing conditions you may have such as asthma or acne for up to a year after your policy goes into effect. For this reason, having continuous health insurance coverage is particularly important.
What If I'm Between Jobs?
As previously mentioned, it is important not to have a break in coverage of more than 63 days. As a result, if you've recently lost your job look into extending the coverage you had with your employer through COBRA. With the COBRA program through the federal government you can extend your plan for up to 18 months after losing your job. You will however have to pick up the entire premium cost which your employer had previously been paying. For this reason, it is frequently more economical for people who've lost their jobs to invest in an individual/family insurance policy through HealthPlanOne.
With individual coverage, you choose the health insurance carrier and benefits you want with the help of HealthPlanOne. We will quote plans for you and your family from all the different carriers available in Washington so that you can choose from a wide price range and spectrum of options to tailor a plan that fits your needs. Even if you are not between jobs, a plan on the individual market through HealthPlanOne could still be the best option for your family. Many companies do not offer benefits to their employees, and often those companies that do offer benefits do so at an exorbitant cost for low quality plans. It is important to note that with individual coverage in Washington each person who applies is medically underwritten and may be approved, denied, or rated-up by the carrier depending on their health history in recent months.
If you're healthy and are between jobs, are unhappy with the health insurance offered by your employer, or are not offered benefits by your company, enter your zip code into the HealthPlanOne quoting engine at the top of this page to view the most competitively priced plans in your area with benefits tailored to your needs. Quotes are absolutely free, and you're under no obligation to buy. Our licensed insurance specialists are also available via LiveChat or toll-free at (877) 567-5267 to answer any questions.
If you're not healthy, there are still many programs available to you. See below for details on the options which best fit your medical and financial situation.
Small Group Plans
If you own a small business and employ 2 to 50 people including yourself you can apply for a small group plan. You must have 2 or more eligible employees who each work at least 20-30 hours per week (this number varies by carrier). Small groups which meet these requirements cannot be denied for coverage by carriers to the plan they apply for because in Washington state there is no medical underwriting for small groups.
HealthPlanOne can help you by quoting plans for small groups. Simply call our toll-free number at (877) 567-5267.
Visit our Washington Small Business Group page for more information.
Washington's Medicaid State Plan
Medicaid is a state-federal cooperative program meant to provide basic health coverage to low-income residents and other high-risk groups such as pregnant women, children under age 18, and families with an unemployed parent. Medicaid works in practice much like a private insurance plan, and offers many of the same benefits at little or no cost to enrollees. For full eligibility requirements and benefit summaries, explore the Medicaid State Plan website at http://maa.dshs.wa.gov/medicaidsp/Table%20of%20Contents.html. This page contains several pdf documents you should review.
Washington State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)
SCHIP is a non-entitlement program which is meant to provide health coverage to children who are ineligible for Medicaid but whose parents' income is insufficient to afford a private plan. Eligibility is determined using the same rules as Medicaid for children, except with higher income standards. The program offers coverage to children under 19 who live in households with incomes between 200-250% of the federal poverty level. The program's benefits are also the same as the Medicaid program for children. To learn more about the SCHIP program, explore their website at http://maa.dshs.wa.gov/CHIP/Index.html
Washington State Health Insurance Pool
The Washington State Health Insurance Pool (WSHIP) offers health insurance coverage to state residents who have been rejected for coverage for medical reasons. For these individuals, a preexisting medical condition may have rendered them medically uninsurable on the individual insurance market. The WSHIP is there to help these residents obtain basic health coverage at a reasonable cost. The eligibility requirements for the pool are extensive however, and should be carefully reviewed here: https://www.wship.org/non_medicare_eligibility.asp To compare the different coverage options under the pool click here: https://www.wship.org/non_medicare_comparison.asp
Prescription Assistance and Other Options for the Uninsured
Here are some low cost options if you can't afford to buy a comprehensive health plan:
Community clinics offer health care services in most counties and charge based on a sliding-fee scale. Community clinics by county
Direct health care practices do not use insurance. They charge a set monthly fee for all primary care delivered in their office.
Hospital charity care is provided by all hospitals in Washington state to people who cannot pay their medical bills. Care is provided free or at reduced prices to people with limited income. For more information, talk to your hospital's billing department.
Local free clinics offer free health care and are often run by volunteers with donated supplies. To find a clinic in your area, call 1-800-562-6900 and ask to speak with a SHIBA volunteer.