(Edited from press release) The Washington Health Benefit Exchange announced Wednesday the selection of Public Health – Seattle & King County to provide in-person assistance as part of the Washington Healthplanfinder Customer Support Program. Washington Healthplanfinder is a new way for people to find, compare and enroll in health insurance in Washington starting Oct. 1, 2013.

(Edited from press release) The Washington Health Benefit Exchange announced Wednesday the selection of Public Health – Seattle & King County to provide in-person assistance as part of the Washington Healthplanfinder Customer Support Program. Washington Healthplanfinder is a new way for people to find, compare and enroll in health insurance in Washington starting Oct. 1, 2013.

Beginning January 1, 2014, about 180,000 uninsured King County residents will be newly eligible for affordable health coverage through the expansion of the Medicaid program and Washington Healthplanfinder. Public Health – Seattle & King County will receive $1.6 million from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange to build and oversee a network of partners who can give residents impartial information to help them determine which health insurance option best fits their needs and help them enroll.

“Our goal is nothing less than the full enrollment of those uninsured who will become eligible for health insurance next year,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We are launching a ‘Get Covered King County’ initiative to create a ‘culture of coverage’ in King County.”

“We are excited to partner with such knowledgeable and trusted organizations that are experts at reaching people in their communities,” said Richard Onizuka, Ph.D, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Their work will connect hundreds of thousands of people with quality health coverage – many for the first time.”

Public Health is one of 10 organizations statewide, including public health agencies, coalitions, regional health networks, and community organizations, chosen to help residents enroll in a qualified health plan starting Oct. 1, 2013. Lead organizations will share nearly $6 million in total grants funds from the Exchange.

About the “Get Covered King County” Initiative:

•Funded by this grant from Washington Health Benefit Exchange, King County will launch an on-the-ground campaign to connect eligible residents with health insurance. Funds will support a robust network of partners to reach unique and diverse populations, including NeighborCare Health, SeaMar Community Health Centers, Within Reach, YWCA, Country Doctor Community Health Centers, HealthPoint, International Community Health Services, Global to Local, Center for Multicultural Health, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, World Relief, DESC, Cierra Sisters, Denise Louie, Friends of Youth, Open Arms, Solid Ground, Washington CAN, Plymouth Housing Group, Center for Human Services, Valley Counseling, and Gay City, among others.

•Executive Constantine also has created a Leadership Circle from business, labor, education, healthcare, faith-based and community organizations to advise him on the enrollment initiative and help shape outreach strategies.

•Executive Constantine has directed every County agency to support “Enroll King County” through public education or sharing of resources and expertise. This effort is part of the County’s Equity and Social Justice initiative. The City of Seattle has also engaged every City agency in this effort.

•In addition to a broad public awareness campaign, King County will work with the business community to increase awareness of new coverage options.

“Better access to health coverage means better health for our region. This grant will give people peace of mind that they can get the care they need, when they need it,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

To ensure statewide consistency, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange will lead curriculum and training materials development to effectively train King County and other lead organizations. These organizations will then be responsible for training their partner networks. All organizations will need to pass a certification exam before working with consumers.

“The Exchange is fortunate to partner with community organizations who are eager to help make health care coverage a reality for the individuals and families they serve. These organizations are the best way to reach people who are not likely to use a website or call center, but who need one-on-one assistance to help them learn about their options and enroll in coverage,” said Kelly Boston, Navigator Manager for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.

Washington Healthplanfinder will allow individuals, families and small businesses to make apples-to-apples comparisons of health insurance plans, determine if they are eligible for low-cost or free options, and choose the plan that fits their needs and their budget. In addition to the lead organizations and their networks, residents will also be able to access customer support through the Washington Healthplanfinder Call Center or their insurance broker.

More information about Washington Healthplanfinder and the Washington Health Benefit Exchange is available at www.wahbexchange.org.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here