For Immediate Release: 10/26/2011
Contact: Preston Cody, Director, Division of Healthcare Services, 360-725-1786; Alyson Chase, Manager, DHS Administration and Planning, 360-923-2765
Letters are going out by the end of this week to 11,000 former Basic Health members who were removed from the state-subsidized health plan for low-income residents in March when eligibility was limited to those who were eligible under federal rules.
Basic Health is offering coverage to these former members following a decision by a Federal District Court Judge to issue a preliminary injunction in a pending class action lawsuit filed by plaintiffs who were among the people who lost Basic Health coverage in March.
Former members who choose to reenroll may elect to begin coverage in December or pay for coverage retroactive to September, October, or November. People who re-enroll must pay their total premiums due for December and retroactive coverage by November 21. Coverage must be continuous from the month they choose to re-enroll.
Judge James Robart issued the preliminary injunction on September 28, ordering the Health Care Authority to re-enroll members who did not get adequate notice to respond to Basic Health’s request for proof they met the new eligibility requirements and those who lost coverage because they didn’t provide proof that they had been lawful residents of the United States for five years. The majority - 9,400 of the former members who will be offered the opportunity to re-enroll - fall into the Due Process class. Nearly 1,600 others fall into the Equal Protection class.
Since the judge issued the order, HCA and our legal counsel has been working with the attorneys representing Rattiya Unthaksinkun, et al, to determine the timeline and create the process to offer re-enrollment to former members who fall into the Due Process or Equal Protection class.
Basic Health eligibility requirements changed in February 2011 when state legislators approved a Supplemental Budget for 2009-2011. The new requirements qualify the state for federal funds for the Basic Health program.
Current enrollment in Basic Health is 35,066; down from 80,924 a year ago. There are 152,893 people on the waiting list.