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Health Insurance Tips
WE CAN HELP — Our health care policy experts are working to provide you with the resources you need to make the most of new health care consumer protections and tools.
Get The Best Deal On Health Insurance
Looking for health coverage? The Washington Health Plan Finder, could save you time and money. Use our tips to make the most of this new tool.
1. Check out new options at the Washington Health Plan Finder. The plans include coverage for doctor visits, hospitalizations, preventive care, maternity care, emergency room care, prescriptions and more.
Toll-free: (855) 923-4633
2. Find out about financial help that’s available. At the Washington Health Plan Finder, you can find out if you qualify for financial assistance to lower your costs.
3. Use the Washington Health Plan Finder to compare plans side-by-side. This new marketplace lists your options on one website, and shows what each plan covers in plain language.
4. Take advantage of expert help to compare plans in-person, online or by phone. Specially trained people are available in communities across the state to help you apply and understand your options. Find them at WAHealthPlanFinder.org.
5. Don’t take no for an answer. For coverage starting January 2014, insurance companies can no longer deny you due to a pre-existing condition.
6. Keep in touch. Check for updates on our website, and tell us about your experience. We want to hear what you think so we can spot trends and advocate for ongoing improvements. Contact us.
Health Care Consumer Protections
If you have coverage, you already have protections under the health care law, such as:
- Children and young adults can stay on their parents’ plan until age 26
- Free preventive care, including check-ups and vaccinations
- Insurance companies can’t set a lifetime cap on what they’ll pay if you get sick
- Rebates if your insurance company spends less than 80% of premiums on care
Plus, more consumer protections start in 2014, including:
- Insurers can’t deny anyone coverage for having a “pre-existing condition”
- No more annual caps on what your insurer will pay if you get sick
- Insurance companies can’t charge women more than men for coverage
Consumers still at risk for harmful over-the-counter drug products of all types because of soft federal regulations.
A new analysis by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group found that 8 percent of nursing homes nationwide as of Dec. 27 had a critical shortage of surgical-grade N95 masks, which are the best protection against spreading the virus. Additionally, 4 to 6 percent of nursing homes reported shortages in at least one other category of personal protective equipment.
Whether you have a loved one currently in a nursing home or rehabilitation facility, or whether you’re shopping for one, you should arm yourself with a list of questions to gauge how safe the environment is. Here’s a guide to those questions, and the answers you should expect.
Seven months into this pandemic, PPE shortages have become much worse, according to “Nursing home safety during COVID: PPE shortages,” a report by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund and Frontier Group.
Each week, we’ll be posting a round-up of short stories from across our network from staff experiencing various COVID-related issues, and what they did about them.
Tools & Resources
Read the Health Insurance 101 guide below, or download the PDF here.WashPIRG Foundation
Your tax-deductible donation supports WashPIRG Foundation’s work to educate consumers on the issues that matter, and the powerful interests that are blocking progress.
You can also support WashPIRG Foundation’s work through bequests, contributions from life insurance or retirement plans, securities contributions and vehicle donations.