How do I get insurance through the Exchange?

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on September 5, 2013 at 11:06 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 27 at 3:01 PM

Panelists:

  • King County Executive Dow Constantine
  • Michael Marchand, Washington Health Benefit Exchange
  • Bob Crittenden, Senate Health Policy Advisor

Questions:

  • What's in the policies?
  • What's the difference between Gold, Silver and Bronze?
  • How do subsidies work?
  • What information do I need to provide?
  • How does Medicaid compare to these plans?

The Exchange site will go live on October 1. Those interested in purchasing insurance will have to create an account. Then you can begin shopping by sharing some basic person information, adding family members, and see the options side-by-side.

There are three basic types of plans offered in the Exchange:

  • Bronze: Covers about 60 percent of out-of-pocket expenses with premiums that range from $165 to $500 a month.
  • Silver: Covers about 70 percent with premiums of $220 to $650 per month.
  • Gold: Covers about 80 percent and has monthly premiums of $275 to $750.

Premiums are cheaper for younger people and non-smokers, and higher for older people.

There will be limits on how much you have to spend every year on health care. Annual out-of-pocket costs are capped at $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family.

If you buy insurance through the Exchange, you will be eligible for subsidies to help pay the costs.

For example, a family of four making less than $32,000 a year can qualify for free health coverage under the Silver plan. That same family making $40,000 a month can get almost $1,000 a month in tax credits.

A family of four making more than $90,000 a year can get more than $400 a month in subsidies.

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