Students take advantage of healthcare

Washingtonians have until Dec. 23, 2013 to sign up for health care coverage that starts Jan. 1, 2014; now is the time to enroll.

25,000 people across the state have taken advantage of Washington Healthplanfinder, since it launched Oct. 1., according to The Washington Benefit Exchange website.

The health plans offered on the Healthplanfinder are categorized into three tiers: Gold (80-percent coverage), Silver (70-percent coverage) and Bronze (60-percent coverage). Income-based federal tax credits and subsidies can lower monthly payments for some.

Some students already had coverage through their parents’ health insurance, on which they can remain until 26 years of age for most insurance plans.

Student Corrinne Heiser had to apply for health insurance because she was no longer covered on her parents’ plan.
The website was “very easy to navigate,” but there were “a few bugs” in the application, she said. Some of the options to answer questions were not available on the application when she started. She has yet to log back on and complete the application.

The website had trouble accommodating the heavy traffic upon launch at the beginning of the month. These issues have been remedied, and it is now operating successfully.

But, student Megan Morton has health coverage through her husband’s employer. She does not need to use the Healthplanfinder.

“The focus is on being more affordable and being accessible for all people, and less on profiteering and making money,” said Morton.

The new system helps those with pre-existing conditions that insurance companies would not have covered before, said Rhonda Jones, student.

No person will be denied coverage due to a sickness or a pre-existing condition under the offered Healthplanfinder coverage plans, according to the Affordable Care Act.


Washington Health Benefit Exchange