Beginning June 1st, many King County residents enrolled in Apple Health will be at risk of losing their health insurance.
As the federal government ends the COVID emergency orders, states are raising awareness about the potential loss of Medicaid benefits. It’s anticipated that over 100,000 people in King County could be at risk of losing their Apple Health benefits. King County Department of Community and Human Services is getting the message out about this upcoming change and the tools to take action by May 31.
On June 1, the state will begin removing people from Medicaid who no longer qualify, something they had been prohibited from doing during the pandemic. So now, for the first time in three years, people must confirm eligibility for Apple Health, or enroll in alternative coverage to maintain access to their physical and behavioral healthcare, including many of the services and supports DCHS offers.
Many of the clients served by DCHS, either directly or by our contracted partners, are among those most at risk of losing their Apple Health coverage. For example, nearly 80 percent of clients served by DCHS-administered behavioral health programs are funded by Medicaid. The federal government estimates that, across the entire U.S., about 15 million people will lose coverage in the coming months, including nearly seven million who are still eligible, a group who will be disproportionately people of color, immigrants, and other groups who face systemic barriers to care.
Steps to take for Apple Health clients:
- Check your account to make sure your contact info is up to date (at WAHealthplanfinder.org)
- Be on the lookout for a letter, postcard, or electronic message about renewal
- If you get a letter or message, take action by:
- Logging into your WaHealthplanfinder account and checking messages
- Getting help from a King County health insurance Navigator by phone at 1-800-756-5437 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Making an appointment in person with a local Navigator at www.kingcounty.gov/outreach
Not all Apple Health members need to re-enroll. Anyone whose renewal is due should receive a postcard, letter, and other messages from the Washington Heath Care Authority (HCA) and Washington Healthplanfinder. However, if their contact information has changed, or they moved in the last three years, they may not receive the notification, putting their coverage in jeopardy.
Renewal notices are sent out every month, on the anniversary of when someone first enrolled in Apple Health. People have 90 days to renew their coverage from the time they receive their renewal letter. If they miss that deadline, they will lose their health insurance, although they can still challenge the decision and be re-enrolled if state officials determine them to be eligible.
Most people no longer eligible for Apple Health will be eligible to enroll into a Qualified Health Plan and may be eligible for premium tax credits or the new Washington State Cascade Care premium assistance program for which many clients are paying $10 or less per month for their health insurance.
Please share this information with your networks. It is so important to inform your friends and family to keep our communities healthy. Below are downloadable flyers that you can use or print out to help get the word out. The flyer is available in English as well as Spanish, Chinese (simplified, traditional), Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.
Published May 17, 2023
Updated June 2, 2023 and June 7, 2023