A $35 million grant from the federal government will breathe life back into Washington’s Health Insurance Partnership, a once-bankrupt state program that provides health insurance subsidies for employees at small businesses.
That news came from the governor’s office Friday. Read more about the grant here.
The Health Insurance Partnership has been defunct since December of last year, when program manager Beth Walter posted this message on the agency’s Web site:
“Given the current economic uncertainty facing the state, we have been directed not to implement the Health Insurance Partnership (HIP) in January 2009. It doesn’t make sense to implement this program when we are unsure we’ll have funds to sustain it in the years to come. As you know, it is an exciting, innovative program with remarkable potential and value for small employers and their employees, carriers and producers, and the taxpayers in Washington State.”
Now that the program is rebounding, here’s some information about just what the program does, and who it serves, via the HIP Web site:
“HIP provides Washington small employers access to health insurance coverage at a lower employer contribution rate than in the traditional small group health insurance market. HIP also offers a premium subsidy to eligible employees, based on their family income.
“Employees who are Washington State residents with a gross family income at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible to have a portion of their premium obligation subsidized. Income maximums are based on the number of people in a family. For example, beginning January 2009, the maximum monthly income for an individual will be $1,733.41. For a family of four, the maximum monthly income will be $3,533.50. The amount of subsidy an employee receives is dependent on the gross family income.”
The program won’t officially restart until Sept. 1, 2010, so the site hasn’t yet been updated with new enrollment info. We’ll let you know when it is.
Want to know more in the meanwhile? Click here for a project narrative.