It’s Time to Shop for Health Insurance!
2018 Open Enrollment runs from November 1 through January 15, 2017 in Washington State
- Plans sold during Open Enrollment start as early as January 1, 2018.
- After January 15, you can enroll in 2018 health insurance only if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.
If you already have insurance, take a look at the policies now available before you renew – you may be able to save money or improve your coverage by transferring to a new policy through the exchange. In order to take advantage of subsidies and tax credits, do your shopping through Washington State’s healthcare marketplace. For those that live outside of Washington, your state may have its own healthcare marketplace. If not, or if you’re unsure, start with the federal government’s marketplace site.
2017 coverage –
Are you in need of health insurance for the remainder of 2017? Open Enrollment for 2017 health coverage ended January 31, 2017. You can still get 2017 health insurance two ways:
Don’t Over-Report Your Income!
The amount you pay for health insurance is based on your household size and income. Workers’ compensation benefits—both time loss and pension – are NOT taxable income. Do not include your time loss or pension payments in your household income figure when applying for health insurance through the exchange or through a Navigator. Veteran’s payments are also excluded from your gross income figure.
The Affordable Care Act is Working!
NY Times Analysis: The Impact of Obamacare, in Four Maps
Since 2013, when the major provisions of Obamacare went into effect, the uninsured rate has fallen in every state. And some states that you might not expect have led the way.
The news about the Affordable Care Act has been grim lately: The price of health plans in new marketplaces is up, and choice is declining in many places. But amid the difficulties, new data highlight the law’s effectiveness in getting coverage for millions of Americans.
Over all, the gains are substantial: a seven-percentage-point drop in the uninsured rate for adults.
Read the full article, published in October 2016, for more details including coverage maps.
Photo credit: franchiseopportunitiesphotos via Foter.com / CC BY-SA
In Washington State, we have a healthcare exchange at www.wahealthplanfinder.org. If this is your first time obtaining health insurance through the WA State exchange, a little preparation and planning will help you through the process. Gather the documents and information you will need to complete your online application.
Download a checklist of information you will need to apply.
Set aside time to work on your application. Early morning or late evenings may be less busy and allow faster progress through the application program. Note that the website is down overnight from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am daily. As you work through the application, save your work. If you need, you can return to the application to complete it at a later time.
Quick Tips for Completing the Application.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits are Not Taxable Income. Do NOT over-report your income by including time loss compensation in your in application. You may qualify for insurance for you and your family at a much lower cost while you are receiving time loss compensation benefits.
Savings are based on your expected household income for the year you want coverage, not last year’s income. The exchange uses an income number called modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) to determine eligibility for savings. It’s not a line on your tax return.
See what’s included in MAGI and how to estimate it.
You can get free, in-person help from a navigator or broker. They can help you fill out the application and enroll in coverage. Search for a navigator or broker by your zip code or language preference. You can also call the Customer Support Center at 1-855-923-4633 for help with the application process.
Photo credit: ccPixs.com via Foter.com / CC BY
Today’s post comes from guest author Thomas Domer, from The Domer Law Firm.
The mythology surrounding employee fraud in worker’s compensation is pervasive. Many of my clients begin their conversations with me indicating the following: “I’m not one of those folks faking their worker’s compensation claim.” The exaggerated media publicity concerning employee fraud has also resulted in outright worker intimidation regarding filing a claim. I had this conversation today with a prospective client.
Attorney: Why didn’t you report the incident?
Client: I didn’t want to have that on my record. Nobody will hire me if I have a worker’s comp injury.
Attorney: Why didn’t you seek medical treatment?
Client: I do not have insurance.
Attorney: Can you obtain insurance under the Affordable Care Act?
Client: You mean Obamacare? No way!
Fear of being stigmatized as a complainer, whiner, or simply a recipient of worker’s compensation benefits has prompted many legitimately injured workers from filing a worker’s compensation claim.
The adverse publicity concerning the Affordable Care Act (and its pejorative popular name “Obamacare”) results in many otherwise qualified workers from obtaining the health care they need, especially when denied by a worker’s compensation insurance carrier.
The politics of medical care intrudes in the worker’s compensation arena daily.