Washington Health Benefit Exchange Selects CHOICE Regional Health Network for Customer Support Program

“CHOICE is genuinely excited to have the opportunity to serve as the lead organization for the seven-county region in Central Western Washington,” said Winfried Danke, CHOICE’s Executive Director. “For many years now, uninsured adults in our region have had little options for affordable health care coverage. The Health Benefits Exchange paves the way for individuals to access much needed health care and CHOICE is pleased to be a part of that exciting mission.”


To ensure statewide consistency, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange will lead curriculum and training materials development to effectively train CHOICE 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.


CHOICE received a total of $558,000 from the Washington Health Benefit Exchange to build and oversee a robust in-person assistance program in the seven counties they will be serving. The Exchange has received a total of $6 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop the program in all areas of the state. 


“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.  


About CHOICE Regional Health Network

CHOICE Regional Health Network’s mission is to improve community health in Central Western Washington through collective planning and action of health care leaders. CHOICE, founded in 1995, is a nonprofit collaborative of member organizations. CHOICE has partnered for years with the region’s medical providers, local governments and a number of community-based organizations on a wide range of community health improvement projects. CHOICE believes that through collaboration, the effectiveness and efficiency of any single organization is greatly increased. CHOICE’s region encompasses Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston counties. As Lead Organization for the Health Benefit Exchange, they will also serve Clallam, Jefferson counties to implement the Affordable Care Act and provide services to uninsured individuals in their communities.


About the Washington Health Benefit Exchange

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is a public-private partnership established in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) with the goal to redefine people’s experience with health care through the creation of a new health insurance marketplace for individuals and small businesses. The Exchange is separate from the state and governed by an independent 11-member board appointed by Gov. Chris Gregoire in December 2011. 


About Washington Healthplanfinder

Washington Healthplanfinder will be a new online marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses in Washington to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage and gain access to tax credits, reduced cost sharing and public programs such as Medicaid. Washington Healthplanfinder will begin enrolling consumers on Oct. 1, 2013, for health insurance coverage beginning on Jan. 1, 2014.



CHOICE Regional Health Network In-Person Assistance Partners


Listed in alphabetical order


Capital Medical Center

Cowlitz Family Health Center – North Beach

Family Support Center of South Sound

Forks Community Hospital

GHB Insurance

Grays Harbor Community Hospital

Grays Harbor County Public Health and Social Services Department

Jefferson County Public Health

Jefferson Healthcare

Lewis County Public Health and Social Services

Lewis County Shelter Program

Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging

Mason County Public Health

Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics

Mason Matters

Morton General Hospital

Olympic Area Agency on Aging

Pacific County Public Health and Human Services Department

Providence Centralia Hospital

Providence St. Peter Hospital


Sea Mar Community Health Centers

Summit Pacific Medical Center

The Olympia Free Clinic

Thurston County Chamber of Commerce

Thurston County Food Bank

Thurston County Public Health and Social Services

Valley View Health Center

Volunteers in Medicine of the Olympics

Willapa Harbor Hospital