WashPIRG Foundation Helps University of Washington Students Navigate New Health Insurance Landscape

WashPIRG Foundation Launches Project to Bring Facts and Tips to College Students in Washington

WashPIRG Foundation

With the main parts of the Affordable Care Act now going into effect, WashPIRG Foundation has launched a statewide education campaign reaching out to students with facts about the changes, and tips to help them find the right coverage for themselves.

“Students have lots of questions about health insurance,” said Micaela Preskill, WashPIRG Advocate, that’s why we’re sharing these tips to help students find good insurance that won’t break the bank.”

At an event launching the project at UW, WashPIRG Foundation released the new guide, So You Need Health Insurance. Now What? Washington Health Insurance 101. 

“Many of us are uninsured, or will lose our current coverage pretty soon, but don’t know what to do next,” said Carrie Adams, Junior at UW. “We’ll lose our family coverage when we turn 26, or we’ll graduate and have to get off the student health plan. We need facts and information so we can make good decisions.”

Beginning January 1, 2014, most Americans will be required to have insurance coverage or pay a fee. On October 1, the Washington Health Plan Finder opened for Washingtonians looking for health insurance. By visiting the Washington Health Plan Finder website at www.wahealthplanfinder.org, consumers can compare different insurance plans apples to apples, and find out about financial help they may qualify for to help lower their premiums and out-of-pocket costs. 

Casey Brown is 29 years old and uninsured and looking forward to checking out the options at the Washington Health Plan Finder “It will be good to be able to go to one website and look at all my options, and find out about what financial help I might get,” he said.

WashPIRG Foundation’s top tips for students include:

1. Look into ongoing options such as staying on your parents’ plan until you turn 26, or enrolling in the student health plan.

2. Check out new options at the Washington Health Plan Finder online at wahealthplanfinder.org or by phone at (800) 923-4633. Plans listed there cover preventive care, hospitalizations, office visits, prescriptions and more.

3. Find out about financial help that’s available when you apply at the Washington Health Plan Finder.

4. Compare plans side-by-side, in plain language at the Washington Health Plan Finder.

5. Don’t let insurance companies turn you away if you have a pre-existing condition. 

6. Get expert help comparing insurance plans and signing up online, by phone or in-person. Connect with specially trained people who can help you at the Washington Health Plan Finder.

7. Find out more in the online guide, So, You Need Health Insurance. Now What? Washington Health Insurance 101, at washpirg.org.

8. Get involved in the campaign as a volunteer or intern to help get the word out on campus. Find out more at Washpirgstudents.org