|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 the CARES Act, Congress authorized a new federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which provides an additional $600 in federal benefits per week of weeks of unemployment ending on or before July 31, 2020.
If you had a change in income, you may be eligible or free, or lower cost health insurance. 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, process all necessary changes to your account on your behalf, and ensure you are able to obtain the health coverage you need at the lowest price available.
This type of unemployment income is excluded for purposes of calculating Medicaid eligibility, but included for purposes of determining tax credit eligibility in the Covered California and Washington Health Plan Finder Systems.
- New and existing clients should not include the additional $600 per week when reporting their unemployment benefit income.
- This includes households with tax credit enrolled members only.
- New and existing clients already receiving MediCaid should not report income changes in their application during the COVID-19 emergency.
- Families who have members on MediCaid, and members receiving tax credits or qualified health plan coverage should continue to report changes in income to see if they qualify for no cost or lower cost care.
- The Exchanges in CA and WA are working on system updates (planned by end of June) that would allow new and existing clients receiving both tax credits and the additional $600 per week to correctly account for it. More information is forthcoming as additional regulatory options are also explored. 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 in California at 619-259-6905, or in Washington at 206-258-6820.