Affordable Care Act and Healthcare Insurance Exchange

Your Guide to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Health Insurance Exchange – Prepared by PacMed

We are supplying this information to help you learn about the Affordable Care Act, Health Insurance Exchange and how PacMed fits into these initiatives.

To begin, the following two definitions, provided by the Health Insurance Exchange, will be useful as you navigate the ACA.

Affordable Care Act

Provides health insurance that will expand coverage, increase insurance company accountability, lower healthcare costs, guarantee more choice for users and enhance the quality of care for all.

Health Insurance Exchange

Is an online health-insurance marketplace where individuals, families and small businesses can learn about their health coverage options: compare plans costs, benefits and other features; choose a plan; and enroll in coverage. The exchange also provides information on programs that help people with low to moderate income and resources to pay for coverage.

Since the impact of the ACA is different for each person, we encourage patients to read materials sent to them from their insurance companies to better understand how they will be affected by these changes.

For individuals who currently purchase their own health insurance: you will receive a letter from your current insurance company. It will inform you that your health plan will change and you will need to select a new health plan. Knowing your rights and options will help you get the best plan to meet your needs.

Note: All insurance companies selling individual health plans are replacing their current plans with new ones that have new consumer protections. Insurance companies are required to provide policyholders with a 90-day notice that outlines their options. These options include:

  • Buying a new plan from a different health insurer either directly or through the healthcare exchange: or 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633)
  • Buying a new plan from your current health insurer, either directly or through the healthcare exchange: or 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633)

If you’ve received a notice from your insurer about picking a new plan and you do not take action, your insurer will automatically move you to the plan that most closely resembles what you have today. This new plan could cost more, but it’s not your only option. List of plans that PacMed contracts with.

Where can I get more information?

The best resources are the state’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner at and the Washington Health Benefit Exchange’s Healthplanfinder at or 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633).

Insurance plans accepted by PacMed can be found here.

If you have questions about insurance accepted by PacMed, please call 206.621.4049.