Families with insurance from the Health Insurance Exchange that was established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may be eligible for lower cost insurance because of a rule that changed just in time for the Open Enrollment period that started November 1, 2022.
Open Enrollment ends January 15, 2023. Note that for new coverages to begin on January 1, enrollment must be completed by December 15.
The rule change corrects a problem called the “family glitch,” which created a financial burden for an employee trying to ensure a whole family, not just themselves. The new rule will expand access to affordable coverage for families by using the premium for family coverage ― rather than employee-only coverage ― to determine eligibility for premium tax credits (PTCs). If a person does not have any offer of employer insurance that meets standards for affordability and adequacy, based on calculations that consider the family’s financial picture, they may now be eligible for PTCs to purchase coverage through the marketplace.
In Washington State, information about health insurance plan options is provided at wahealthplanfinder.org. The website supports language access, including sign language, and provides cultural navigators that understand the Indian Health System as well as Medicaid.
For healthcare navigation help by phone, call 1-855-923-4633.
Washington’s Health Plan Finder is also where individuals can sign up for or renew their Apple Health coverage. Washington State is a Medicaid expansion state and provides Medicaid options for a larger portion of adults and children based on income. The state provides an Eligibility Overview for 2022, with information about monthly income limits for families.
Another place for information and help to understand insurance options is parenthelp123, which has navigators who speak English and Spanish: Call 1.800.322.2588.
More information about the “family glitch” legislation can be found at the Center on Budget and Policy or the Common Wealth Fund.