Friday, December 13, 2013

People in federal high-risk insurance pool get extra month of coverage

President Obama’s administration announced yesterday that people who participate in the federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan will be covered through Jan. 31, 2014. The extension affects about 443 Washington residents and about 135,000 nationwide. The pool covers people who were previously ineligible for health insurance because of chronic pre-existing health conditions including cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses. The extension allows people in the pool more time to find coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Approximately 3,675 Washington residents are covered under the Washington State Health Insurance Pool (WSHIP), which is the state’s insurance plan for people with chronic health conditions. People in that plan will keep their coverage through the end of 2017. Both the federal and state high-risk insurance pools are closed to enrolling new members.

WashingtonHealthplanfinder, Washington’s health benefit exchange, has been unavailable for many people this month. Yesterday, Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler advised people who are not eligible for a subsidy and are still tyring to find insurance before Jan. 1 to find health insurance from a private broker or agent. Washington residents with incomes of up to $45,960 for an individual and up to $94,200 for a family of 4 are eligible for subsidized insurance plans through the Washington health benefit exchange. Read the news release.