|In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Washington Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) today is urging individuals who did not secure health insurance for 2020 to sign up for coverage by 5:30 p.m. on Friday, May 8, the deadline of the limited-time special enrollment period (SEP) through Washington Healthplanfinder for coverage beginning May 1, 2020.“Now is the time to sign up for health coverage if you are currently uninsured,” said Exchange Chief Executive Officer Pam MacEwan, “There are many resources available to help individuals understand their options and secure health coverage before the special enrollment period ends.” Individuals who need help signing up for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder should contact Core Columbia Insurance at 206-258-6820 as soon as possible to meet the enrollment deadline.
Over 19,500 customers have signed up for coverage since the Exchange announced a special enrollment period in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This includes 7,000 uninsured Washington residents who have come in through the COVID-19 special enrollment period, and 12,500 additional customers who have come in through a qualifying life event.
“An unprecedented number of people in our state are losing their employer sponsored health coverage. Those Washingtonians will continue to have free and low-cost coverage options available to them through Washington Healthplanfinder,” said Chief Marketing Officer Michael Marchand. Additional qualifying life events that may open a special enrollment period include:Marriage, birth of a child, or move within the state, Purchased coverage through a health sharing ministry that has received a cease and desist order from the Washington office of Insurance Commissioner for fraudulent activity or Purchased full price coverage outside the Exchange marketplace, who due to a change in income could now benefit from federal subsidies available exclusively through Washington Healthplanfinder. In some cases, individuals may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) that is available year-round.
Coverage You Can Count On
Insurance companies providing coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder have agreed to cover cost sharing related to the testing and treatment of COVID-19.
Contact your health insurance provider directly for more information about:How COVID-19 impacts your coverage, Telehealth, appointments, payment options, grace periods, or other benefits related to COVID-19.
In response to the COVID-19 public health crisis, Congress passed the CARES Act which includes a federal stimulus payment. The amount most individuals will receive is a one-time payment of $1200 individual/$2400 joint filer/$500 per child. Core Columbia Insurance is here to answer any questions you may have about how this benefit impacts your eligibility for Healthplanfinder coverage.
The one-time federal stimulus payment (also referred to as the “Recovery Rebate” by the media or “Economic Impact Payment” by the IRS) is not considered income for purposes of Apple Health or APTC/CSR eligibility. At this time, Core Columbia and the Exchange advise clients to not report this as income in their application.
The federal stimulus payment (referred to as the Recovery Rebate or Economic Impact Payment) is not income for purposes of applying for health and dental coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder. You do not need to report any check or payment amount you receive from the federal government in your application.
Core Columbia Insurance is always here for you, working remotely, to provide straightforward, up to date answers to all of your questions – give us a call at 206-258-6820.
Effective March 20, 2020, anyone uninsured and eligible to enroll in health care coverage through Covered California can sign up through the end of June. The Department of Health Care Services announced new steps to help those eligible for Medi-Cal sign up easily and get immediate coverage.
The moves come amid widespread disruption in the lives and livelihoods of Californians as public health officials seek to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19 are free of charge, and all health plans available through Medi-Cal and Covered California offer telehealth options. These actions build on increased state subsidies and the implementation of a state penalty, both of which took effect in January 2020.
If you would like to enroll, or have any questions about your options, give Core Columbia a call at 619-259-6905. We are working remotely and ready to take your call.
For clarification on your specific plan, give Core Columbia Insurance a call at 206-258-6820. We are always here to provide straight answers, and to help you gain access to care.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued an emergency order to Washington state health insurers requiring them to waive copays and deductibles for any consumer requiring testing for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Insurers also must:
- Allow a one-time early refill for prescription drugs
- Suspend any prior authorization requirement for treatment or testing of COVID-19
In addition, if an insurer does not have enough medical providers in its network to provide testing or treatment for COVID-19, it must allow enrollees to be treated by another provider within a reasonable distance at no additional cost.
The order is effective immediately and applies to all state-regulated health insurance plans and short-term limited duration medical plans until May 4, 2020.
There’s a lot in the news lately about coronavirus COVID-19. Here’s what you need to know to help you understand what it is and how you can protect yourself and the people you care about.
Core Columbia Insurance is closely monitoring COVID-19 developments and what it means for our customers. Our clinical team is actively monitoring external queries and reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help us determine what, if any, action is necessary on our part.
We’re sharing information today to help explain what COVID-19 is all about, how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you might be infected. We also help to answer questions customers are asking about COVID-19 and how it impacts us all.
Employers and members will receive the following message shortly. Please contact Core Columbia Insurance a call in California at 619-259-6905, or in Washington at 206-258-6820 with questions.. We are always here to provide straight answers, and to help you gain access to care.
About coronavirus COVID-19
What is coronavirus and COVID-19?
Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes mild respiratory illness – an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It’s part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold.
What are the symptoms?
The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
How does the virus spread?
Like many other viruses, COVID-19 seems to spread from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss.
What is the risk?
As of today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the risk in the U.S. is still low. They will update the status regularly on the CDC website.
Prevention and treatment
How to protect yourself
Frequent handwashing is the most effective way to protect yourself from infection. Other good habits to practice include covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze, and cleaning frequently touched items such as phones, keyboards, and doorknobs to help remove germs. Visit the CDC website for more on prevention and treatment.
What to do if you have symptoms
Call your doctor if you develop a fever, have a cough, or have difficulty breathing. And let them know if you’ve been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, or if you live in or have recently traveled to an area where the virus has spread. You can also check to see if your plan offers telehealth benefits to see a doctor online. If you think you’re infected, using telehealth helps to prevent spreading a virus.
What your Health Insurance benefits will cover
Your health plan, if ACA compliant, should cover the care you get if you’re diagnosed as having COVID-19, based on your plan’s benefits. It should also cover testing for COVID-19. You’ll likely pay any out-of-pocket expenses your plan requires, unless otherwise determined by state law or regulation. For clarification on your specific plan, give Core Columbia Insurance a call in California at 619-259-6905, or in Washington at 206-258-6820. We are always here to provide straight answers, and to help you gain access to care.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (accessed March 2020): cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (accessed March 2020): cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html.