Have a Heart for Kids Day rally, 2015

Your children don't have to go uninsured

Ruth 05/06/09

XaviHere's an example of public policy advocacy making a concrete difference in people's lives.

People who lose their jobs don't have to worry about health coverage for their kids, thanks to work this past legislative session to protect Washington state’s Apple Health for Kids program.

Apple Health for Kids is available to families whose incomes for the month drop below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, $4,577.50 a month for a family of three. (A chart of the poverty level for different sized families is here.) No waiting period. No averaging of income for prior months.

To get information and apply for children’s coverage through Apple Health for Kids, families can go to:

  • The statewide toll-free number, 1-877-KIDS-NOW (1-877-543-7669), or applehealthforkids.wa.gov. The website features program information, an income calculator and eligibility table, a downloadable application, and links to local contacts for more information.
  • www.ParentHelp123.org, a website run by the nonprofit WithinReach. WithinReach can also help you find other resources for your family, call 1-866-585-1123.

A couple more things to know about Apple Health for Kids:

  • Benefits are comprehensive, covering preventive care, mental health care, dental care, and vision screenings.
  • The coverage is free for children in families below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Families up to 250 percent of the poverty pay $20 a month per child, and those up to 300 percent of poverty pay $30 a month per child. The premiums max out at two per family, so no family would pay more than $60 a month.
  • Apple Health for Kids is available to both citizens and non-citizens who are 18 or younger.

Families who have COBRA benefits available to them should also know about the federal subsidy program, which may be more appealing to a family trying to keep everyone on the same plan. The program allows people who lose their jobs to extend COBRA benefits for up to nine months at 35 percent of the cost of coverage. (Normally, former employees pay the full cost of coverage after a period determined by the former employer.)

Get more subsidized COBRA information here: