A major component of the new Affordable Care Act in Washington state is expanded Medicaid coverage, or Apple Health as it is now called. This allows thousands more people statewide to qualify for free health insurance.
Although the open enrollment period has officially ended to buy into the insurance exchange, individuals and families who are eligible for Apple Health may continue to enroll throughout the year. In other words — there is no deadline.
Who qualifies? It depends on family size and household income
- Individuals who earn less than $15,857 annually qualify
- A family of four with a combined income below $32,500 will qualify
- The more children or dependents in your family, the higher your household income level can be.
To find out instantly if you qualify, enter your income level, age, and household size using the calculator on this webpage. Then, to sign up, go to Washington Healthplanfinder (click “OK” to the warning, and select “Apply for Coverage”). You’ll need your monthly household income, the social security number and date of birth for each member of your family seeking health insurance and any relevant immigration information. You should receive notification of your coverage options within the hour.
No matter what your income, anyone who experiences a “qualifying event,” such as getting married or changing jobs, can also sign-up outside the enrollment periods. Healthplanfinder offers some advice on how to qualify under these criteria.
While the federal deadlines do not apply to those who qualify for Apple Health, why wait? The sooner you apply, the sooner your insurance kicks in and you can better manage your and your family’s health.