Health & Wellness
Explore tools and information regarding health, including resources for healthcare, healthcare insurance, medical bills and medical debt, long-term care insurance, and more.
Washington Healthplanfinder is an online marketplace for individuals and families in Washington to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage and gain access to tax credits, reduced cost sharing and public programs such as Medicaid. Enrollment reports and data are available from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
About Washington Apple Health
In Washington, Medicaid is called Washington Apple Health. Free or low-cost coverage is available year-round for those who qualify. Since the Affordable Care Act launched in October 2013, more people have access to preventive care, like cancer screenings, treatment for diabetes and high blood pressure, and many other health care services they need to stay healthy. Apple Health clients enroll and renew online using Washington Healthplanfinder. Apple Health is administered by the Washington State Health Care Authority.
GET HELP WITH MEDICARE AND MEDICAID
SHIBA is a free, unbiased and confidential counseling service offered by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Our trained volunteers help consumers understand their Medicare rights and options. We offer information on Medigap (Medicare Supplement) and Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid programs, employment-related health benefits, long-term care options, fraud and abuse, and much more. Find a SHIBA office.
The Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) can help you:
- Find Medicare options that meet your personal needs
- Learn about your Medicare rights and options
- Compare Medicare plans and prices
- Report health care fraud and abuse
Consumers can use Washington HealthCareCompare, the WA-APCD’s website, to find high-quality doctor groups and hospitals and to shop for medical services by comparing prices for common services at nearby hospitals, ambulatory surgery, and other outpatient health centers. The WA-APCD also provides information to evaluate the impact of health reform efforts to improve the affordability and quality of care, particularly among populations who are in poor health or cannot afford medical care.
In 2014, the Washington State Legislature enacted the all-payer statute (Chapter 43.371 RCW) directing the Washington State Office of Financial Management to establish the WA-APCD. OFM received funding to implement the WA-APCD from the Federal Rate Review and State Innovation Model grants.
From Coverage to Care (C2C) is an initiative, developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, to help you understand your health coverage and connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for you, so you can live a long and healthy life. We understand health insurance can be a bit overwhelming and confusing at first, however, there are many ways you can make the most of it.
Medical debt can affect the overall financial security of families and undermine a family’s economic security. Each year millions of people file bankruptcy or go into severe debt due to the overwhelming cost of medical care. In addition, concern about medical bills may cause people to postpone medical care, which can result in the need for more expensive treatment when care becomes urgent.
If you have medical debt you should review all medical bills carefully and request complete and full documentation of all medical charges. Make sure that the services being billed are accurate and that the correct insurance (if applicable) was billed. This is especially important if you recently had a change in medical benefits, providers, or insurance.
Placing the debt on the credit card can make payments more manageable, but will typically result in paying more for the service due to the interest rate on the card. Prior to charging medical debt on a credit card, you should explore avenues for reducing your bills or making payment arrangements. A professional financial counselor can discuss with you alternative solutions for medical debt.
Have you ever been confused by a medical bill? What happens after you visit the doctor? This video explains how medical costs are calculated and paid for by public and private insurance. This is one of several tutorials created by the Merkin Initiative at The Brookings Institution and presented by Khan Academy.
- The Health and Wealth Connection, Opportunities for Investment Across the Life Course, by Jason Q. Purnell and Anjum Hajat, The Asset Funders Network, 2016
- The Relationship Between Health & Wealth Over the Life Course – Health & Wealth Brief Graphic
- Integrating Financial Capability Services into Community Health Centers, by Joanna Ain, David Newville, Parker Cohen, and Alicia Atkinson, CFED is now known as Prosperity Now, November 2016
Project Access Northwest is a non-profit 501(c)3 formed in 2006 to improve access to specialty health care for low-income and uninsured patients. It matches volunteer specialty care providers and hospital partners with carefully pre-screened patients in need of care.
Its newest initiatives include the statewide Premium Assistance program, developed to assist those who are eligible to purchase private health insurance on the Washington Health Benefits Exchange but for whom paying the premiums is a financial hardship, and the Health Home Program, which allows them to reach patients at home and help improve their health and lives based on personal goals.
The Washington State Legislature established a long-term care insurance benefit for all eligible workers to address the future long-term care crisis.
Under this law, individuals will have access to a lifetime benefit amount that, should they need it, they can use on a wide range of long-term services and supports.
Washington State is the first in the nation to develop a way to make long-term care affordable for all workers in the state as we age.