With all of the changes in health care, you may be asking yourself how you’ll afford insurance for your children if your employer does not cover them or if your credit rating will be affected you decide to take the penalty for not being insured. Where does one go for help for help for these kinds of questions?
I called the toll free helpline for Washington for answers ( 1-855-923-4633), and was pleasantly surprised at the over-the-top fantastic, friendly and accurate help I received. I’d encourage anyone to use this toll free option, it was just the opposite of an endless phone tree. The person who helped me was a very good listener, committed to helping and very knowledgeable.
Here’s what I learned:
There is great news for parents: in Washington state, every effort is being made and built into the new health care system in our state to make sure that no children are uninsured because of cost, even if the parents are uninsured, even if the parents have their own insurance through work, even if the parents have incomes nearly 400% of the Federal Poverty level.
I learned that even if parents don’t qualify for subsidies because of income, or even if parents choose to go uninsured or have insurance at work, they may still be able to get low or no cost insurance for their children under what is called “Mixed Eligibility”. The parents may not qualify for subsidies, but the children can still qualify separately for free or subsidized costs, with a very liberal formula for eligibility for assistance with the costs for the child.
And what about the penalties affecting credit scores? The friendly people at the WA State Call Center say “no”, whether or not you take the penalty is only reported on your tax return and not public information anywhere else.
You can go to the Washington Healthpathfinder (www.wahealthplanfinder.org) and use anonymous browsing to enter a few simple facts about your family and see how your child’s costs come out, using their cost-estimator. If you’ve been worried about costs for children, you will be pleasantly surprised.
So, if you’ve got questions regarding how the new health care law will affect you, contact the people at WA State Call Center and breathe a sigh of relief!