Washington State’s Health Care Authority is applying a new brand for adults enrolled in Medicaid programs – a population that is expected to surge dramatically next year as new eligibility rules go into effect under the Affordable Care Act.
The new brand – Washington Apple Health – capitalizes on the successful children’s medical brand, Apple Health for Kids, which was adopted in 2008. The umbrella designation of Apple Health for Kids made life easier for clients since they didn’t have to be concerned about the technicalities of program eligibility or other details the agency uses in enrollment.
“We’ve found that the designation of Apple Health for Kids has been a reassuring brand name, one that remains very popular with parents,” said Health Care Authority Director Dorothy Teeter. “We are counting on the same result with Washington Apple Health.
“They only need to know that Apple Health means health care coverage – regular doctor visits and a healthier future.”
Using Washington Apple Health will also help prevent confusion this fall as Medicaid expands its eligibility rules under the federal Affordable Care Act. Analysts predict the new rules will expand Medicaid enrollment by up to 328,000-plus beginning January 1, 2014. That’s because the eligibility ceiling for adult enrollment changes from about 50 percent of the federal poverty level to 138 percent – a jump of about $500 a month to $1,322.
For a family of three, the new eligibility rules would set the monthly Washington Apple Health income ceiling at $2,246 and the annual income limit at $26,951.