The Washington State Health Insurance Pool (WSHIP)
What is WSHIP?
The Washington State Health Insurance Pool (www.wship.org) is our state's high-risk insurance pool. Created by the state legislature, it originally offered insurance to state residents who were rejected in the individual market due to health issues.
With health reform, today insurance companies can no longer deny individual coverage due to health reasons. However, health reform does not apply to Medicare Supplement plans. Insurance companies can continue to reject or limit Medicare supplement coverage due to health issues.
WSHIP Medicare plans
WSHIP sells the Medicare Basic plan (www.wship.org) (PDF, 64KB) to people on Medicare who've been rejected due to health reasons by a Medicare Supplement plan or who live in an area where plans don't offer coverage. WSHIP will continue to sell this plan through 2017. After 2017, WSHIP will no longer accept any new applications.
WSHIP non-Medicare plans
If you're already on a WSHIP non-Medicare plan, you also can stay on it until 2017. However, with health reform, during open enrollment, you can buy an individual health plan through the Washington Healthplanfinder (www.wahealthplanfinder.org) or directly from an insurance company. You no longer have to answer questions about your health to buy an individual health plan. If you buy a plan through the Washington Healthplanfinder, you may qualify for help paying your premium.
For more information, call 800-877-5187 or go to WSHIP's website (www.wship.org).