Here on New Day Northwest, we've been keeping you updated about the Affordable Care Act and how it could affect your healthcare coverage in the new year. If you're still confused about the process, our friends at LifeWise Health Plan of Washington are working to help make your experience as easy as possible. Nicola King, Senior Manager at LifeWise, joined Margaret with information and materials you need before you begin the registration process.
LifeWise has a special page on their website dedicated to helping answer all of your questions. You can also call them: 888-304-0693
Learn more about the Washington Healthplanfinder
(Note: Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreider says President Obama's health extension does not apply to Washington State. Read and watch the KING 5 News story here.)
To help people prepare, LifeWise has pulled together a list of key information that you’ll need to have handy before you even sit down at your computer and log on to WAHealthPlanFinder.org:
Personal/financial information from your 2012 Tax Return
You’ll need to know the basics for everyone listed on your tax return, even if they don’t need coverage-including SSN, DOB, whether they smoke or are pregnant. You’ll need to know some financial information as well, including the income for everyone in your household, if people are playing interest on their student loans, contributing to a 401k or retirement plan etc. Both personal and financial information can be found on your 2012 Tax Return. Other documents that may be handy to have on hand are your W2s or 1040, pay stubs etc.
Your current insurance card
If you already have a health plan, but want to be covered by a new plan - you’ll need your insurance type (Employer sponsored/Medicare/Tri Care/VA Health Benefits/Other), policy holder name and policy number. If you currently receive coverage through your employer, you should have received a notice from them with details about the health coverage they offer - you’ll also need that on hand.
While this is not part of the enrollment process, it’s important that you make a list of the doctors and medications you and your household use. In order to choose a plan with the best coverage and least additional costs, be sure that the plan you choose covers your current doctors and medications.
Qualifying for a financial assistance really depends on your house hold income. If you’re an individual in Washington State with an annual income of less than $46,960, you may qualify for a tax credit. For a family of four, that amount is near $94,000.
It’s also good to point out that if your annual income increases within the year, you may be required to pay back a portion of the tax credit you originally qualified for. But you can update your income information during the year, so that you don’t end up with a big bill when you come to do your tax return.
We know that this is a lot of change for consumers so we’ve set up a section on our website where you can find out if you qualify for a subsidy and learn more about how these changes affect you. Visit LifeWiseWA.com and check out our health plan basics section.