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Health Insurance in Washington and Oregon

Posted by William K. Thayer | Sep 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

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Time to get health insurance squared away.

If you do not already have health insurance, now is the time to start exploring your options  and getting signed up to the best health insurance plan you can afford.

Open enrollment through the state-based insurance exchange commences November 1, 2015. According to the Columbian newspaper in an article dated September 7, 2015, Insurance Options Opening Up, the 2016 exchange will include five insurers that will again be offering various plans in Clark County, Washington – BridgeSpan Health Company (Cambia), Columbia United Providers (CUP), Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Northwest, LifeWise Health Plan of Washington, and Moda Health Plan; one insurer that will no longer offer local coverage – Community Health Plan of Washington; and a new insurer – United Health Care of Washington – that will begin offering Clark County coverage in 2016.

As an attorney who on a daily basis helps injured folks try to make sure they are able to get their medical bills paid that were incurred from car, motorcycle and truck accidents, dog bites, and other injuries, I recognize how important health insurance coverage is for all of us. A trip to an urgent care facility, emergency room, or even a doctor visit to a primary care facility costs a lot more than it did a decade ago. Even if a third party that caused your injury can and will ultimately be compelled to pay for your medical bills in the long run, many health care facilities won't want to wait for your personal injury case to wrap up to receive payment.

Personal injury protection (PIP) insurance (which you should be sure that you have through your automobile insurance policy), can help defray the costs of your medical bills from an auto accident, but with medical bills being so high these days PIP coverage is often exhausted early on in our clients' course of treatment following a car, motorcycle, or truck accident.

Your ability to ensure that your health care providers' bills are promptly paid, and your odds of having access to quality health care in the unfortunate event that you may need it on an emergency or routine basis will be maximized, if you have a good health insurance policy in place in addition to PIP coverage.

So if you don't have health insurance through your work, your spouse's employment, or otherwise, pay attention to the need to start researching your health insurance coverage opportunities. If your need or intent is to buy health insurance through a state-based exchange, there will only be a limited window for doing so. And that window will open up soon (November 1, 2015), but be closed again before you know it (January 31, 2016 according to the Columbian article, but certain websites indicate the opportunity may close earlier, such as by 5 pm on December 23, 2015). So don't procrastinate!

For further details, you could read the Columbian article referenced above, or begin your research and start learning more about this by going to:

About the Author

William K. Thayer

Bill Thayer is one of the founding partners of the Schauermann Thayer Jacobs Staples & Edwards law firm. Bill is licensed in both Oregon and Washington, and has been practicing law since 1980. Bill advises and represents clients in personal injury and wrongful death claims and litigation, including automobile collision, motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian injury and death cases, dog bite cases, construction site injury claims, and a myriad of other types of injury and death claims. While many claims are settled through negotiation or mediation, Mr. Thayer has litigated, arbitrated and/or tried to verdict many cases for his clients. He is also frequently appointed by courts and other lawyers to serve as an arbitrator of tort claims. Bill enjoys writing as one of his varied recreational interests when he is not working.

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