Hi- Washington is my home state. The Basic Health Plan here has a current enrollment of about 35,066 people. This number is XXXXX from nearly 81,000 people who were on the plan a year ago. Open enrollment for the 2012 program ended on November 4th, 2011 with no slots for new applicants available, except for those in special circumstances. This left about 152,893 people on the waiting list. So obviously there is a great unmet need.
Recently, about 11,000 people who were kicked off the program without sufficient notice will be allowed to re-enroll after a federal court judge said the state likely had violated their constitutional equal-protection rights. That’s considered a victory. However, this will make the upcoming funding for the program even tighter. That story has been reported. Most other stories in the past few months have been more about cuts and the possible closure of the program. Although there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes politicking going on, but not much new is happening.
However, the expansion of the federal health-care system is still due to take place in 2014. Most of those removed from or unable to get Basic Health will be eligible for federal funds and getting health insurance through a state-managed healthcare system. In other words, legislators and many others think that the new federal and state systems will be able shore up the Basic Health program. Right now we’re in the “wait and see” phase of things. Unfortunately, that leaves potentially affecting thousands who need health insurance at risk
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