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Washington state to launch first-in-the-nation health care option for all and new long-term care program

Politics

Washington state to launch first-in-the-nation health care option for all and new long-term care program

GTP Staff
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Gov. Jay Inslee signs the bill that creates a public option health care plan that works toward health care for all. (Office of the Governor photo)

The 2019 legislative session wrapped up with health care legislation that includes two landmark bills. One creates a public option health care plan that works toward health care for all, and another creates a first-in-the-nation long-term care benefit program. Gov. Jay Inslee signed these bills Monday May 13, 2019.

“These two bills are models for the rest of the nation to consider,” Inslee said. “Washington state, once again, is at the head of the pack when it comes to policies that help working families and provide much-needed security when it comes to their health care.”

Here’s a brief overview of the bill breakdown:

Public option

Inslee signed the first-in-the-nation public option legislation, known as Cascade Care, on Monday in Olympia. The bill, which aims to push against attempts by President Trump and congressional Republicans to undermine the Affordable Care Act, will ensure affordable insurance options for every Washingtonian through the state’s Health Benefits Exchange. Sen. David Frockt, who sponsored the bill, said Cascade Care is designed to lower premiums and deductibles for families and people purchasing insurance on the individual market.

The governor shakes the hand of a supporter after signing the public option health care plan bill. (Office of the Governor photo)

Long-term care security act

Another first-in-the nation bill creates a long-term care benefit, similar to a Social Security or Medicare benefit. Because Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care, the benefit will be crucial for the growing numbers of workers and families who do not have long-term care insurance and find themselves unable to pay for necessary health and care services.

Upholding the Affordable Care Act

Inslee signed a bill this year that reinforces a significant number of consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act, including the much-discussed right that no person will be denied health coverage because they have a pre-existing medical condition.

The new law addresses unfair practices against consumers, and protects a variety of benefits connected to private health insurance coverage offered in Washington. Among other things, the law includes a requirement that the state offers and explains health plans to any resident regardless of health status. The law also continues open enrollment periods, adds limitations to coverage cancellations, prohibits annual or lifetime limits as well as waiting periods and maintains coverage of the 10 essential health benefits introduced in the Affordable Care Act.

You can read about the ACA bill signing on the governor’s Medium page.

Source Governor Inslee’s Newsroom

The Global News Weekly Newspaper

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