The state of Washington is known for its aggressive social programs and high standard of living from its comparatively high minimum wage to its comparatively low poverty rate. But like any state, Washington has struggled to increase access to health care while tamping down skyrocketing costs. Although the state spends less on health spending per capita than the national average, while maintaining a lower percentage of uninsured residents, many residents are struggling to afford health insurance in Washington, pushing the ranks of the uninsured near one million residents. Whether you've lost your job, are shopping for health insurance for the first time, or simply want to look around for potentially better rates, here's what you need to know ahead of submitting an online request with NetQuote for a Washington health insurance quote.
Washington Health Insurance and Unemployment
Like any U.S. state, Washington health insurance is dependent on employer-based coverage to deliver a significant portion of its residents with health insurance. Unfortunately, in these tough economic times, high unemployment doubles as a health insurance issue, and with a 9.5 percent unemployment rate (March 2010), Washington is feeling its share of economic pain. COBRA may feel like a lifeline until you realize how expensive it is to pay the full premium costs. Worse, long-term unemployment threatens to run out the clock on even this emergency COBRA coverage.
Fortunately, if you do have to seek health insurance in Washington on the individual market, you'll have a number of state-level protections. So long as you pass a basic health screening, insurers must guarantee access to individual health plans. If you don't qualify for this basic health status, the state gives you access to high-risk health insurance pools that help mitigate costs. If you've lost your job or are otherwise struggling to pay for comprehensive health insurance, you might want to take a look at this unemployment and health insurance guide, published by the Washington Insurance Commissioner's Office.
Washington Health Insurance and Health Care Reform
If you get tabs on the health care reform debate, you undoubtedly heard dozens of statistics, projections, promised benefits, and unexpected costs, but what does it mean for you and health insurance in Washington? With the state's already aggressive social programs, one might reasonably wonder to what extent the state has already enacted and implemented health insurance standards and guarantees. In fact, one of the most controversial issues during the health care reform debate was creating higher baseline standards which all health insurance plans must meet --an issue the state's Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler, has already championed with his proposed Guaranteed Health Benefit Plan. Meanwhile, the state does stand to see significant changes to its health insurance industry from the pending individual mandate to individual and small business tax credits and more niche services such as long-term home-based health care benefits. To review other important highlights that speak to the effect of health care reform on Washington residents, check out this government resource.
Find an Affordable Washington Health Insurance Quote
The best way to find an affordable Washington health insurance quote is to use an online referral service, like NetQuote. Simply take a minute to submit an online request, and we'll connect you with health insurance companies that service your area. By finding health insurance online, you reduce overhead and marketing costs for insurers, which translate into lower premiums for you. Plus, you'll be able to review multiple plans from multiple insurers, comparing not only premium costs but also quality of care and potential out-of-pocket expenses. And, perhaps best of all, the speedy and efficient referral service will give you more time to carefully consider details of the health plans themselves and from the comfort of your own home.