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Affordable Care Act

You can apply for Washington Apple Health (Medicaid) ANY TIME during the year.  But unless you meet one of the exceptions below, you can only enroll in a Qualified Health Plan(private health insurance plan with or without financial assistance under the Affordable Care Act) until March 31st.

Important Deadlines:

  • Sunday, March 23rd at 5pm: deadline to apply, enroll and pay first month’s premiums for  Qualified Health Plan coverage starting April 1st
  • Monday, March 31st at 11:59pm: deadline to apply, enroll and pay first month’s premiums for Qualified Health Plan coverage starting May 1st

Exceptions (people who can enroll in Qualified Health Plans after March 31st):

  • People eligible for Medicaid can apply at ANY TIME during the year
  • American Indians/Alaskan Natives and Indians eligible for services through an Indian Health care provider
  • Small business employees enrolling in the Small Business Health Options Program (“SHOP”)
  • Households experiencing certain life events like getting married, having a child, adopting a child or having a child placed with you, moving to a new area that offers different health plan options, or losing other health coverage
    • Not included: Voluntarily quitting other health coverage, losing it for not paying your premiums, or losing coverage that is not “minimum essential coverage” under the health reform law.

Apply at as soon as possible.

Read our publication When Can I Apply For Free Or Low-Cost Health Coverage? for more information.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is the single largest national effort to extend health insurance coverage to the millions of uninsured Americans across the country. Here in Washington, NJP has been actively working to identify areas where legal issues will arise during the enrollment period beginning October 1, 2103, and full implementation starting in January 2014. NJP will post links on Washington LawHelp to legal information and resources as they become available. View an overview video and general information here. 



  1. Washington residents who do not have health insurance can apply as soon as October 1, 2013,  for free or low-cost coverage beginning on January 1, 2014. Apply by going online at, calling the Health Plan Finder at 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633) or TTY/TDD 1-855-627-9604 or by picking up a paper application at your local DSHS office.
  2. If you currently receive Medicaid, you may have to apply for a new type of medical coverage. Talk to your DSHS worker about this or call the CLEAR Intake line for more information.
  3. If you need help applying for medical insurance or in understanding your options, talk to an In-Person Assister (Navigator). It does not cost any money to talk to an In-Person Assister. You can find an In-Person Assister by going online at or calling the Health Plan Finder at 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633) or TTY/TDD 1-855-627-9604.

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