The Washington state Medicaid program, known as Apple Health, is a free or low-cost health insurance program that is available for eligible Washingtonians. Annually, Apple Health provides cost-effective and high-quality coverage for about 2.3 million individuals. Health care services provided through the Apple Health program – including emergency care visits, behavioral health services and prescription medications – are essential.
The last three years of the COVID-19 pandemic will likely be remembered as one of the defining eras of modern history. On the front lines of health care, it holds special significance. The public health emergency (PHE) that began in 2020 suspended many rules and regulations to ease burdens. This included allowing residents relying on Apple Health (Medicaid) to remain continuously enrolled in the program without needing to reverify their eligibility.
After the COVID-19 public health emergency expired, verification – known as Medicaid redetermination – resumed. The Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) estimated this impacts roughly 300,000 Apple Health clients.
The (HCA) and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) gradually resumed the certification process beginning in April 2023. Apple Health clients should be sure to update their income and address to ensure that they are still eligible for the program. Providers and other members of hospital staff can help engage in outreach efforts by becoming a volunteer Apple Health Ambassador. You can find more information about this program through the HCA.
Please visit the resources below to find out more about the unwinding of the Apple Health continuous enrollment standard and for information to share with patients:
- How Hospitals Can Help Patients with Medicaid Redetermination 5.24.2023 Webcast Recording
- Passcode to Access Recording: FP4cDe!R
- How Hospitals Can Help Patients with Medicaid Redetermination 5.24.2023 Slides
- HCA Apple Health Client Eligibility Tableau Dashboard
- CMS Letter to HCA on Washington Data During the Redetermination Period
- HCA Release of Apple Health Renewal Date for August 2023
- WSHA Article (August, 2023): Medicaid Redetermination in Washington: July data and CMS Letter
- WSHA Article (August, 2023): Initial Medicaid redetermination data in Washington state
- WSHA Article (April, 2023): Ending of the continuous enrollment Medicaid standard and Apple Health redetermination in Washington
- HCA: Apple Health and the public health emergency page
- HCA: Apple Health Guide to Unwinding from the PHE
- Apple Health Classic Medicaid Paper Application
- HCA: End of PHE Communications Toolkit
- HCA: Renewing your Apple Health Coverage Handout
- HCA: Apple Health Unwinding Data
- HCA: References Guides