The Affordable Care Act (ACA) feature article that was published in the last edition of the WSDA News has generated several questions about the implementation of health care reform in 2014. The following are new questions and answers that should help clarify some of the questions WSDA and WDIA have received in the last several weeks. This content, and future health care reform updates, is always available online in the new “Affordable Care Act” section of The Source (www.wsdasource.org). Staff at WDIA and WSDA are always available to help answer your questions. You can reach WDIA by calling 800-282-9342 and you can reach WSDA by calling 800-448-3368.
President Obama recently announced that insurance carriers may extend health insurance plans that do not meet all of the provisions of the ACA through 2014. How will this action affect residents of Washington state?
This recent announcement from President Obama will not impact residents of Washington state. The Obama administration’s decision gave flexibility to the 14 states that developed their own exchanges to decide whether or not they would also extend health plans that are not compliant with the ACA. Washington is one of these fourteen states and our exchange marketplace is called Washington Healthplanfinder. On the same day that President Obama announced this policy shift, Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler determined that Washington state would not extend health plans that are not compliant with the ACA.
Will my children and the children of my staff have to purchase pediatric dental insurance?
Yes. Beginning in 2014, all children (aged 0-19) in Washington state will have to have pediatric dental insurance. There is no exemption for the children of dentists or other members of the dental team. If you purchase your children’s insurance outside of Washington Healthplanfinder, then pediatric dental coverage will be embedded in the medical policy. The cost of the embedded pediatric dental benefit is approximately $3 to $5 per month. Individuals who purchase health insurance for their children through Washington Healthplanfinder must also purchase a standalone pediatric dental policy. The cost of the standalone dental benefit is approximately $25 to $30 per month in Washington Healthplanfinder. An exemption for the children of dentists and the dental team from purchasing pediatric dental coverage would need to be made at the federal level.
My current health insurance policy expires after the January 1, 2014 ACA implementation date. Do I need to renew my policy before the end of the year?
No. You can keep your current plan until your renewal date. However, the plan you purchase in the 2014 calendar year will need to be compliant with the ACA. Please contact WDIA at 800-282-9342 or your insurance broker with questions about your personal plan options.