Many people are discussing the impending changes that are expected for health insurance, but consumers are in need of knowledge about their current health insurance needs too. There are many requirements, regulations and provisions that greatly affect the outcome of health insurance for people today. Individuals with a better understanding of these rules and their rights can make better decisions to protect themselves and their families.
Washington Health Insurance Requirements
The state of Washington is responsible for complying with HIPAA. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, also known commonly as HIPAA, protect private information for patients. Per HIPAA, no medical records or health information can be released to anyone without signed authorization. Furthermore, HIPAA mandates how medical records and information can be transferred electronically.
Washington Health Policy Revisions
All Washington insurance plans must comply with the guaranteed renewability provision, which requires all plans that are current be renewed. Washington health insurance companies can place pre-existing condition exclusions on plans for up to 9 months and Washington considers a pre-existing condition as anything treated or diagnosed 6 months prior. Any pre-existing condition exclusions on previous continuing coverage are subtracted from the new policy.
Washington Health Insurance Company Regulations
Applicants for health insurance in Washington can be denied coverage based on age and health status. Higher premiums can only be charged based upon the size of a family or their residency but rates cannot be increased based on a person’s health status in Washington. Babies and adopted children must be covered for a minimum of 60 days if the policy already covers dependents.
Washington Health Insurance Plans
Washington residents have several options for health insurance. Many residents are covered on a group plan provided by their employer. Some residents purchase their own individual health insurance policy. There are also self-employed person and small employer health insurance policies. Additionally, the state has some options that are available for low-income families and individuals who would otherwise not be able to obtain health insurance coverage.
Washington Health Insurance Financial Assistance
The state of Washington does provide options for low-income families and individuals who need financial assistance to get health insurance. Washington has Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Washington Breast and Cervical Health Program (BCHP), the Washington Basic Health Plan and WSHIP. These plans are all offered to those who meet the required qualification for little to no cost.
Health insurance is an important topic and it is a necessary product; whether someone has health insurance or not, it still weighs on their mind. There are many options to choose from and consumers need to know the risks involved when switching plans or companies. Washington has many opportunities for its residents to get health insurance.