Washington state approved to offer ACA coverage to noncitizens

Washington is the nation's first state to be approved by HHS to offer health and dental ACA coverage to any resident, regardless of immigration status, The Hill reported Dec. 12.

The state's insurance marketplace submitted a Section 1332 waiver application May 13 that allows the state to bypass or change Affordable Care Act requirements, including the federal ban on noncitizens purchasing health coverage on ACA marketplaces. 

The waiver will expand benefits starting in 2024 to more than 105,000 people, or about 23 percent of the state's uninsured population.

"The waiver will help Washington work towards its goals of improving health equity and reducing racial disparities by expanding access to coverage for the uninsured population through the state Exchange, all the while not increasing costs for those currently enrolled," HHS said in a public statement.

The waiver will also use state-funded affordability programs that help lower premium costs and increase access to Cascade Care Savings, the state's new premium assistance program.

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