The Washington HealthPlanFinder will open for business on Tuesday, October 1st. This is a big opportunity for families to get the coverage they need to thrive.
The HealthPlanFinder’s web site and call center are intended to help adults find, compare and enroll in the health plan that best suits them. Why should that matter to children? Because when parents go shopping for a plan for themselves, they’re more likely to find one that works for their kids, too.
That’s why, since the Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress in 2010, we at the Children’s Alliance have worked hard to make health care reform work for kids in Washington. We’ve done that by:
- Bringing the advocacy and experience of members of the Health Coalition for Children and Youth to the table with public officials so kids don’t get lost in the shuffle;
- Advocating for the addition of a Health Equity Technical Advisory Committee to the HealthPlanFinder Board to ensure that the diverse needs of communities of color are included in this new system;
- Teaming up with our allies at the Healthy Washington Coalition to cement legislators’ support for the expansion of Medicaid;
- Encouraging state officials to build a culturally diverse, knowledgeable network of in-person assistors spread out across the state, ready to help families enroll in coverage.
- Making sure the HealthPlanFinder offers a simple way for families to renew or enroll their kids’ affordable coverage through Apple Health for Kids.
We know there is much more to do. Too many Washington children are living without health coverage, and lack of coverage is disproportionately high in communities of color. This disparity can be erased with targeted outreach and more equitable access to coverage and care.
Apple Health for Kids has kept children covered through hard times. Yet to effectively bridge health disparities, strong public programs need broad public reach.
The Children’s Alliance is working hard with our partners to ensure the right family-focused strategies are put in place to reach those children furthest from the opportunity for health: low-income children and children of color. We have the opportunity with the Affordable Care Act to ensure that all children have bright, healthy futures.