So you don’t have health insurance, but you want to get it. You can buy it the old fashioned way – call up insurers and see what they have to offer. Or starting October 1, individuals, families and small businesses can do it on online at Washington Healthplanfinder.
Washington Healthplanfinder was created by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, the public-private company set up by the Legislature to manage the heathcare marketplace in Washington state under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).
On the site, shoppers can do apple-to-apple comparisions of Qualified Health Plans (QHP), compare the benefits and costs and make a choice.
Health policies will also be given ratings. "Gold" level policies will cover about 80 percent of your estimated medical costs. Silver will pay 70 percent and bronze about 60 percent. The more the policy will cover, the more it costs.
People can get a good idea of what they might pay for a silver level insurance plan on the site’s cost-estimator calculator. On the Washington Healthplanfinder home page, click on the Go To Calculator button under the calculator icon on the right side of the page. You can also find the cost-estimator calculator on the Health Benefit Exchange site.
The site will also determine and offer tax credits or financial help to pay for copays and premiums. Of the 280,000 people expected to enroll in Washington Healthplanfinder in the first year, about 90 percent or 250,000 people will be eligible for financial help, according to the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
Not everyone will qualify for subsidized healthcare. But if you want a subsidy, insurance must be purchased through the Exchange. Also, undocumented immigrants will not qualify; neither will document immigrants who have been in the U.S. for less than five years.
Washington Healthplanfinder will also be setting up a call center where you can call, ask questions and sign up for health insurance. Call toll-free at 1-855-WAFINDER (923-4633) Mon.- Fri. 7:30am-8:00pm.
Washington Healthplanfinder offered these documents that contain fast facts and frequently asked questions regarding finding healthcare through Washington Healthplanfinder for individuals, families and small businesses: