Washington State Health Insurance Laws

Health insurance laws are often regulated at the state level. If you live in the state of Washington or are planning a move to this area in the near future, familiarize yourself with the various health insurance companies, benefits and the laws that are in place that will affect your coverage.

  1. Coverage

    • Washington state law allows health insurance companies to deny you coverage based on your age and health when you submit the initial application for insurance. After insurance has been issued, however, a health insurance company cannot increase premiums based on your health. This means that if you are young and in good health, you will be able to purchase health insurance without having to worry about increasing costs if you become ill later on.

    Guaranteed Renewability

    • According to Washington state law, and as outlined in "A Consumer Guide for Getting and Keeping Health Insurance in Washington," published by the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, you are guaranteed renewability on your health insurance policy. Your renewable policy provision means that you are always allowed to renew your health insurance as long as you did not violate any policy provisions. An example of a violation would be lying on your insurance application about your health condition.

    Preexisting Conditions

    • Washington state law allows insurers to exclude preexisting conditions for up to nine months. Conditions that are considered preexisting are those that are diagnosed or treated within six months of applying for the new policy. If you are switching health insurance policies, however, the exclusion period on your old policy counts toward your new policy. This means that if your old policy had an exclusion period of four months, the maximum exclusion period for the new policy would be five months instead of the full nine allowed by law. The old exclusion period provides a credit toward the new policy's exclusion period.

    Coverage for Children

    • By law, all newborn and adopted children will be automatically covered for 60 days under their parent's health insurance policy. After this time period, the policy needs to be amended to reflect the new subscriber.

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