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Washington Health Program Offers Peace of Mind for Uninsured

Health & Lifestyle
Author : Paul Boupha

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May 24, 2010 - SEATTLE, WA - Community Health Plan announced it will exclusively cover the state's uninsured via the new Washington Health Program launched by the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA). With more than 100,000 people on the waiting list for the state's Basic Health program, this new product offers financial and medical peace of mind for Washington residents.

Low-income Washington residents have few affordable options for health care coverage and the number of uninsured people has risen to almost 1 million. To address this pressing need, the state introduced the Washington Health Program - a non-subsidized version of the state's popular Basic Health program. Both are administered by the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA).

"Our focus has always been to provide a low-cost option for those who currently have no insurance at all and we're pleased to be a part of this important step forward for Washington residents," said Lance Hunsinger, CEO of Community Health Plan. "It was important to us to make sure the Washington Health Program offered both choice and quality at an affordable price. This new program is an innovative bridge to health care reform and will offer tens of thousands of uninsured people in our clinics and elsewhere an affordable option for coverage and access to timely health care."

HCA Administrator Doug Porter said Washington Health's low premiums are due to low administrative costs and caps on annual costs. Premiums are as low as $100 per month. A 35 year old could expect to pay between $125 and $183 depending on their location and the coverage options they select. Washington Health provides similar benefits as Basic Health, but with no subsidy and no cost to the state as enrollees pay the full premium.

Washington Health is available to any state resident who is not enrolled in Basic Health, Medicaid, or eligible for Medicare. Though it is designed for low income people, there are no income limitations. It is available anywhere in the state.

"We are pleased to be able to enhance our working relationship with Community Health Plan," said Porter. "They provide coverage to more than 270,000 people in Basic Health, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, GA-U (Disability Lifeline) and other programs, and they continue to demonstrate their commitment to provide quality health care to low-income people across the state."

Coverage begins July 1, 2010. Applications are being taken now through the Washington Health website at www.washingtonhealth.hca.wa.gov. Applications can also be requested toll-free at 1- 800-660-9840.

Community Health Plan provides managed care for more than 270,000 individuals and families throughout Washington state. It is the state's largest insurer of the Basic Health Plan and the second largest health plan serving members of the state's Medicaid program, including Healthy Options, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and the only insurer for the GA-U (Disability Lifeline) Program. The health plan's delivery system includes more than 540 primary care clinics, 2,365 primary care providers, 13,571 specialists, and 100 hospitals. Community Health Plan also features an incentive program that rewards its members for getting the preventive care they, and their families, need. More information is found at www.chpw.org.

HCA is a cabinet-level agency that serves as the state's primary health care purchaser. In addition to Basic Health and Washington Health, HCA administers the Public Employees Benefits Board program which provides health care coverage to more than 330,000 state employees, retired state employees, retired K-12 employees, dependents, and a number of smaller government entities around the state. The agency is also involved in funding for community clinics, state health care policy, and initiatives designed to maximize the state's health care purchasing investment. More information is available at www.hca.wa.gov.

Press Contact:
David Kinard Director of Marketing, Communications, and Enrollment Growth Community Health Plan of Washington 206.613.8949 David.Kinard@chpw.org

Website: http://www.hca.wa.gov


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