Washington Health Insurance

Despite the clean mountain air and ocean breezes, Washington residents can’t stay healthy on organic vegetables and fresh air alone. A quality health insurance policy is key to keeping many Washington adventurers on their feet and on top of their game, and so The Simple Dollar has endeavoured to make things even easier by putting a wealth of resources and information in one easy place. Here readers can find stats, information, and resources to help them make the most of their health insurance policy.

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Stats in Your State

We’ve gathered several sets of data and information to illustrate for our readers the various factors and demographics that make up the health insurance market, so you can get the full perspective on the health insurance industry across the state.

Chip Medicaid

Nearly 750,000 Washington residents held health insurance policies through Medicaid in 2009, though enrollment dropped the following year in 2010 to roughly 700,000 enrolled in Medicaid, with approximately 30,000 children of low-income families depending on the state’s CHIP plan.

Individual Health Insurance Premiums

Washington’s high volume of technology and business jobs make it a very low-risk state in terms of health insurance costs for workers. Combined with the relatively high-income population and clean air, and you’ve got a healthy workforce. Washington workers paid on average about $225 less per month than the average U.S. worker in 2011.

Family Health Insurance Premiums

Right in line with individual health insurance plans, family plans in Washington are similarly cheap compared with neighboring states and the national average. At approximately $3,451 per month, the average Washington family cost roughly 14% less to insure than the average U.S. family.

SAHIE Health Insurance Uninsured

The Census Bureau estimates that as many as 936,000 Washingtonians went without health insurance in 2010, a symptom of a nationwide problem of people unable to afford proper health care benefits. The need for affordable options is further emphasized by the vast number of people enrolled in Medicaid benefits.

Rules in Your State

The Washington legislature has stipulated specific unfair claims practices as well as particular regulations for life and health insurance companies, both of which can be found at the links here. As always, if you suspect your rights have been compromised or you’ve been treated unfairly in a claim, consult with an attorney.

Washington State Rules: Alcohol & Your Health Insurance

Washington state laws are very progressive in providing care for alcohol-related disorders, with health insurers required to treat alcohol-related disorders with similar limits and costs as other medical and surgical conditions. Furthermore, insurers are prohibited from denying benefits for treatment of injuries sustained while intoxicated, paving a solid path for recovering alcoholics to get the treatment they need.

Losses Due to Intoxication
Health Insurance Parity for Alcohol-Related Treatment
Washington law specifically prohibits insurers from denying benefits for losses arising from intoxication.
Health insurance coverage in Washington must cover treatment of alcohol-related disorders and provide the same levels of benefits for alcohol-related disorders as they do for medical and surgical conditions.
Health insurance plans that cover alcohol-related disorders MAY NOT be subject to higher deductibles, higher premiums, or more restrictive financial limits on lifetime treatment for alcohol-related disorders than for medical and surgical coverage.

Representatives & Resources in Your State

Numerous state agencies are waiting to assist Washington residents with a variety of insurance-related needs, from consumer advocacy and information on benefit programs for low-income or disabled persons. Use the following links to find more about the options available to you as a consumer in Washington.

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner
PO Box 40255
Olympia, WA 98504-0255
Contact Information
File a Complaint
Consumer Guides and Brochures

Washington Health Care Reform Information
With significant changes to the health care industry slated for 2014 and 2015, it can be tough to sort out what it all means. The Insurance Commissioner has laid out the basics for consumers at the above link.

Washington Department of Social and Health Services
The Department of Social and Health Services provides essential care services and support to thousands of Washington residents in need. Contact them to find out if you or someone you know qualifies for assistance programs.
Contact Information

Washington Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
The Washington CHIP plan provides health care coverage to thousands of children of low-income families across Washington state.
Contact Information