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Health care coverage
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As written in its treaties with tribes, the United States government provides health care to American Indians and Alaska Natives. The Indian Health Service (IHS) is the federal agency that delivers most directly on this treaty obligation. However, the federal government also uses Medicaid ("Apple Health" in Washington State) to provide significant funding to tribal health clinics. Having their members enrolled in Apple Health increases tribal clinics' financial resources, which can improve services for their clients.
Apple Health covers dental care as well as physical and behavioral health care. You will not have to pay copayments, deductibles, or other upfront costs when you visit a doctor.
- You can enroll in an Apple Health Managed Care Plan, or
- Receive Apple Health coverage without a Managed Care Plan.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each, depending on your individual circumstances. Tribal health clinic staff are very familiar with these options and can help you make this choice. You (or your tribe as your authorized representative) can make this choice in Washington Healthplanfinder.
- You can find out if you're eligible for Apple Health and sign up at wahealthplanfinder.org.
- If you're eligible for Apple Health, you can enroll any time during the year.
- To sign up you'll need: Your household's monthly income, and the dates of birth and Social Security numbers of everyone in your household.
- For more information, see:
American Indians and Alaska Natives do not have to sign up for Apple Health or purchase health insurance.
Apply for an exemption if you don't want to purchase Apple Health or other insurance.
- You can sign up for Medicare through the Social Security Administration.
- Depending on your income, the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) may help you pay the Medicare Part B premium and other costs. You can apply online or through your local Community Services Office.
- You can always go to tribal and urban Indian clinics, whether you have Apple Health or not, and you won't have to pay any out-of-pocket costs.
- You can sign up with the clinic as your primary care provider. (This is called the Primary Care Case Management, or PCCM.)
- If a tribal or urban Indian clinic can't provide the services you need, they will refer you to a specialist.
- Find the nearest tribal or urban Indian clinic.