The new year brought some good news for full-family health care in Washington state: thousands of Washington adults are eligible for Apple Health coverage for the first time in 25 years.
Congress, as part of its federal stimulus measure, approved the restoration of Medicaid to thousands of immigrant adults living in the U.S. under a Compact of Free Association (COFA) between their home countries and the federal government. These countries are the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This is good for kids, because health coverage for whole family has been shown to improve health outcomes for everyone in the household: kids AND adults.
Washington state was a leader in recognizing the historic injustice of denying health care to COFA communities; that’s why state lawmakers created COFA Health Care in 2018, then followed up with dental coverage in 2019. Now, with the leadership and guidance of community-based advocates in our state’s COFA communities, Children’s Alliance will support efforts to ensure that adults enrolled in COFA Health and Dental Care receive the information and supportive services they need to enroll in Apple Health, understand their new coverage and navigate the health care system in order to access critically needed health services.
We want to thank Washington state’s bipartisan Congressional delegation, all of whom supported the final legislation. We’d especially like to recognize Senator Patty Murray for her long-term support for this policy, which helped our country reach this important milestone. And we want to recognize the incredible community-based advocates nationally and in many states, including Washington, who worked so hard over many years to restore vital health care.