Guide to Washington State Health Agencies

Several state agencies have roles in health and health care. This general guidance is designed to help reporters know where to start when they have health-related questions.

Department of Health

  • State health statistics
  • Public health emergencies
  • Health care provider licensing and registration, facility regulation
  • Flu and other infectious diseases
  • Statewide disease prevention, surveillance, and response systems
  • The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program

Department of Social and Health Services

  • State hospitals (Western, Eastern, Child Study and Treatment Center)
  • Trueblood lawsuit settlement
  • Aging and long-term care; oversight of nursing homes, adult family homes and assisted living facilities
  • Developmentally and intellectually disabled individuals who require care in institutional and community settings.
  • Special Commitment Center
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which in Washington is called Basic Food

Health Care Authority

  • Washington Apple Health (Medicaid)
  • Public Employees Benefits Board (PEBB) Program
  • School Employees Benefits Board (SEBB) Program
  • Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act
  • Mental health and substance use disorder support services
  • Public employee wellness program

Health Benefit Exchange

  • Our state's health benefit exchange (Washington Healthplanfinder)
  • The individual market component of the Affordable Care Act
  • ACA tax credits
  • Healthplanfinder qualified health plan and dental care coverage options
  • Cascade Care (public option)
  • Overall customer experience of finding health care coverage

Office of the Insurance Commissioner

  • Insurance consumer protection
  • Insurance laws and regulations
  • Approving insurance plans and rates