District of Columbia health and coverage statistics
District of Columbia population (2013): 646,449
Population 65 and older (2012): 11.4 percent
Life expectancy (2010): 76.5 years
Number of Medicaid beneficiaries (2012): 157,900
Number of Medicare beneficiaries (2012): 60,700
Estimated number of uninsured residents (2012): 51,000
Overall state health ranking (2014): not included in America's Health Rankings
Sources: Kaiser Family Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, America's Health Rankings 2014 report.
Washington, D.C., health insurance
Many residents of our nation's capital have new ways to access health insurance in 2014, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, Mayor Vincent Gray signed Washington, D.C.'s Health Benefit Exchange Authority into law in January 2012.
The District of Columbia, along with 26 states, also chose to expand Medicaid in 2014.
The new health insurance marketplace is called DC Health Link, and you can find it at DCHealthLink.com. After you register and complete an application during open enrollment, you can find out if you or your family members qualify for private marketplace plan subsidies, Medicaid, or the Children's Health Insurance Program, called CHIP.
Income tax credits subsidize private plans and can be applied right away to the premiums for plans purchased on the exchanges. The website also has resources where you can find expert assistance.
Do you qualify for a Washington, D.C. health insurance subsidy?
A January 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation profile of the uninsured in the District of Columbia reported about 65 percent of formerly uninsured residents may qualify for some type of federal financial assistance to pay for health insurance.
Your income and family size usually determine if you qualify, if you can already access affordable medical insurance through a job or other public program, you may not qualify for financial assistance.
Here are ways District of Columbia residents can get help with health insurance.
- Typically, eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP is determined using 2014 poverty level guidelines, and eligibility for subsidies is determined using 2013 limits.
- People with income between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty level may qualify for a subsidy. This would be between $23,550 and $94,200 for a family of four and $11,490 and $45,960 for an individual.
- Because Washington, D.C., expanded Medicaid, parents who earn up to 221 percent of the poverty level -- about $52,710 for a family of four -- may qualify for Medicaid. Other nondisabled adults are eligible if they earn up to 215 percent of the poverty level, or about $25,090 for an individual.
- Children in families with incomes below 324 percent of the federal poverty level, or about $77,275 for a family of four, may qualify for CHIP.
You might make too much money to qualify for subsidies or have access to other health insurance, but you can still purchase private marketplace health insurance anyway. Insurers can’t deny you coverage based on your pre-existing medical conditions and must provide essential benefits.
Use the insuranceQuotes.com Obamacare subsidy calculator to estimate your own subsidies. You only need to enter your ZIP code, birth date, family size and expected 2014 income to use this free tool.
Washington, D.C., health insurance companies in the marketplace
These three insurance companies offer marketplace plans for residents of the District of Columbia.
- CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield.
- Kaiser Permanente.
Washington, D.C., health insurance resources
DC HealthLink: https://dchealthlink.com/
Department of Health: http://doh.dc.gov/
Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking: http://disb.dc.gov/
DC Medicaid: http://dhcf.dc.gov/service/medicaid
DC Office on Aging: http://dcoa.dc.gov/
Kaiser Family Foundation: http://kff.org/tag/district-of-columbia/