Apple Health managed care

Find information about Apple Health managed care.

Changes to Washington Apple Health managed care!

View 2019/2020 changes

Managed care explained

What is managed care?

Most Apple Health clients have “managed care,” which means Apple Health pays a health plan a monthly premium for your coverage, which include preventive, primary, specialty, and other health services. Clients in managed care must see only providers who are in their plan's provider network, unless prior authorized or to treat urgent or emergent care.​ 

Changes to Apple Health managed care

Health Care Authority implemented changes to the Apple Health managed care program. You may learn more about these changes below.

Integrated Managed Care (IMC) coordinates physical health, mental health, and substance use disorder treatment services to help provide whole-person care under one health plan.  

As of January 2020, Apple Health offers integrated managed care plans in all regions statewide: 

  • Great Rivers (Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Pacific, and Wahkiakum counties) (coming January 1, 2020)
  • Greater Columbia (Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield,  Kittitas, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Yakima counties)
  • King (King County)
  • North Central (Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties)
  • North Sound (Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom counties)
  • Pierce (Pierce County)
  • Salish (Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap counties) (coming January 1, 2020)
  • Southwest Washington (Clark , Klickitat, and Skamania counties)
  • Spokane (Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, and Stevens counties)
  • Thurston-Mason (Mason and Thurston counties) (coming January 1, 2020)

View the integrated managed care plans available in each region.

Apple Health offers Behavioral Health Services Only (BHSO) plans in all regions with integrated managed care. These plans are for clients who are eligible for Apple Health, but not eligible for managed care enrollment, such as:

  • Dual-eligible – Medicare/Medicaid
  • Medically Needy
  • Clients who have met their spenddown

The Behavioral Health Services Only plans are offered by the same health plans administering Integrated Managed Care.

Upon becoming eligible for Apple Health coverage without a managed care plan (also known as fee-for-service), clients may select a Behavioral Health Services Only plan. For clients who do not select a plan, HCA will automatically enroll them into a BHSO plan.  A BHSO fact sheet is available online.

In addition to integrated managed care plans, clients in integrated regions have access to a regional Behavioral Health – Administrative Services Organization (BH-ASO).  View the BH-ASO map.

These organizations administer services such as:

  • 24/7 regional crisis hotline for mental health and substance use disorder crises
  • Mobile crisis outreach teams
  • Short-term substance use disorder crisis services for individuals who are intoxicated or incapacitated in public
  • Application of behavioral health involuntary commitment statutes, available 24/7 to conduct Involuntary Treatment Act (ITA) assessments and file detention petitions
  • Regional Ombuds

Within available funding, a BH-ASO also has the discretion to provide outpatient behavioral health services or voluntary psychiatric inpatient hospitalizations for individuals who are not eligible for or enrolled in Apple Health. A BH-ASO fact sheet is available online.

The Apple Health Foster Care (AHFC) program provides integrated managed physical and behavioral health coverage statewide, known as integrated managed care. With integrated managed care, a managed care plan coordinates and pays for both your physical and behavioral health services. Behavioral health services include mental health and substance use disorder treatment services.

These clients include children and youth:

  • Under the age of 21 who are in foster care (out of home placement)
  • Under the age of 21 who are receiving adoption support
  • Age 18 to 26 years old who aged out of foster care on or after their 18th birthday (alumni)

Apple Health Core Connections: Care coordination for all Washington State foster care enrollees is provided through a single, statewide managed care plan called Apple Health Core Connections administered by Coordinated Care of Washington (CCW).  

Apple Health Core Connections can be reached at 1-844-354-9876.  

Apple Health children in foster care (out of home placement) are auto-enrolled to Coordinated Care of Washington.

Adoption support and alumni have the ability to opt out of managed care for their physical health coverage with a phone call to the foster care unit at 1-800-562-3022 ext. 15480.

If you decide to receive your physical health coverage through the Apple Health coverage without a managed care plan, you will have the option to select a managed care plan for your behavioral health services. 

A list of the available Behavioral Health Services Only plans can be found in the Apple Health managed care plans available section. The same plans offering integrated managed care plans in each county also offers a Behavioral Health Services Only plan.​ 

    Earlier enrollment (4/1/2016)

    Newly eligible Medicaid clients and renewing clients choose or are auto-assigned into a managed care organization (MCO) the day they become eligible. Their managed care enrollment is backdated to the beginning of the current month. The intent of the change is to close the fee-for-service (FFS) gap between eligibility and enrollment. This change decreases the time on FFS with quicker health care coordination. Instead of having to wait a month or possibly two months before being enrolled, the client enrolls with the plan on the first day of the month that they became eligible.

    Apple Health (Medicaid) and other primary health insurance (1/1/2017)

    If you or someone in your household has Apple Health (Medicaid) coverage in addition to primary private health insurance (such as Kaiser Permanente or Blue Shield), changes were made to how the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) provides your Apple Health coverage.

    On January 1, 2017, the agency began enrolling most fee-for-service Apple Health clients who have other primary health insurance into an agency-contracted managed care organization (MCO).

    Learn what you need to do.

    Apple Health managed care plans available

    You can choose any one of the five available plans that serve your area when you enroll in Apple Health. Not all plans are available in all areas.

    View the health plans available in your area:

    What is the difference in the plans?

    All Apple Health plans cover the same basic services, but they have some differences in the way they provide services. Each health plan has its own network of providers, hospitals, and pharmacies. Please verify with the health plan that the providers you prefer are in the plan’s network.

    View the Washington Apple Health Plan Report Card for plan comparisons of each managed care plan under Apple Health.

    Before you can be in a managed care program, you must apply for services.

    Medicaid plan selection

    To choose or change your health plan, most clients may visit Washington Healthplanfinder. See more information about how to change your health plan.

    Contact your Apple Health plan

    You'll need to contact your Apple Health plan if you want to:

    • Find a new doctor or see if the doctor you want to see is in your Apple Health plan.
    • File a complaint because you're not happy with the service you were provided by your doctor or the health plan.
    • Replace your Apple Health plan benefits card.
    • Find out more information about your Apple Health plan.

    Apple Health managed care plans

    Amerigroup (AMG) 1-800-600-4441
    Community Health Plan of Washington (CHPW) 1-800-440-1561
    Coordinated Care of Washington (CCW) 1-877-644-4613
    Molina Healthcare of Washington, Inc. (MHW) 1-800-869-7165
    UnitedHealthcare Community Plan (UHC) 1-877-542-8997

    All Apple Health plans offer the same basic services.

    What is fee-for-service (FFS)?

    Some services are paid "fee-for-service (FFS)." That’s what we call it when Apple Health pays providers directly for each service they do, using the ProviderOne payment system.

    Most Apple Health clients don’t get FFS for their regular health care, but this type of coverage is sometimes necessary due to the way other coverage works with Medicaid (Apple Health) — for instance, when clients have Medicare as their primary coverage. In some situations, clients are able to choose whether they receive FFS coverage or are enrolled in a health plan.

    Regardless whether you are in a health plan or not, the following services are always covered fee-for-service (FFS).

    • Dental care
    • Vision hardware (children only)
    • Long-term care
    • Inpatient psychiatric care for physician services.

    Your primary care provider or health plan will help you find these benefits and coordinate your care, when necessary.

    Crisis services

    24-hour crisis line


    Crisis services are available to support you, based on where you live.

    See your local crisis line contact list


    Phone: 1-800-273-8255
    Online: National Suicide Prevention Lifeline