Two teens were injured overnight on the Long Beach Peninsula, after swerving to avoid a deer and colliding with a telephone pole just after 2 this morning. The Washington State Patrol reports the 17 year old driver, and a 15 year old female passenger, both from Aberdeen, were transported to Ocean Beach Hospital with undisclosed injuries. A 47 year old Aberdeen man was also in the 1992 Pontiac Firebird but was not injured. The driver was cited for driving over the center line, without a license, or insurance. Trooper D. Knox also reported that the road was closed for about an hour during the investigation.
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OLYMPIA, Wash. – Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler announced a limited special enrollment period – effective Aug. 27 – for people who have experienced difficulty enrolling in health coverage through Washington’s Exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder, or who have had billing or payment issues.
The special enrollment period starts Aug. 27 and is scheduled to run through Nov. 14, 2014. Only people who attest to having enrollment, billing, or payment issues with an Exchange plan may change plans during this time.
General open enrollment for 2015 individual and family coverage starts Nov. 15, 2014 and ends Feb. 15, 2015.
“The Exchange is making real progress in reconciling the cases of those consumers who’ve experienced ongoing claims and payment issues,” said Kreidler. “Today’s announcement should not take away from their efforts. It’s just one more option for consumers who still need coverage. It will not be the best option for everyone, but hopefully it’ll bring immediate relief to some.”
Consumers who choose to leave the Exchange and switch to a health plan sold outside of the Exchange will lose their premium and cost-sharing subsidies. Consumers may also lose any credit toward their cost-sharing deductible or out-of-pocket maximum.
During this limited special enrollment period, if you have experienced difficulty getting or keeping health coverage through the Exchange, you can:
- Stay with your health insurer inside the Exchange, but “reset” your coverage (you may lose any credit toward your deductible or out-of-pocket maximum)
- Stay with your health insurer but switch to a plan sold outside of the Exchange (you will lose your subsidy)
- Switch to a new health insurer outside of the Exchange (you will lose your subsidy)
- Switch to a different insurer inside the Exchange (your subsidy amount may change)
If you decide to change your coverage – either inside or outside of the Exchange, you must select a plan with the same “metal level” that you have today. Metal level refers to the type of coverage and cost-sharing requirements.
A list of answers to questions about this temporary special enrollment is available on the insurance commissioner’s website.
Consumers still have the option to keep their current health insurer and pay through the Exchange or pay their premium directly to their health insurer.
Anyone who has been unable to get or keep coverage in a plan through the Exchange because of an error in their enrollment, bill, or premium payment.
People with Washington Apple Health are not eligible for this temporary special enrollment period.
How will this help?
This is an option for consumers who have experienced difficulties with their health coverage over the last several months. It will not be the best option for everyone.
Approximately 85 percent of people enrolled in a plan through the Exchange receive premium or cost-sharing subsidies. If they move to a plan sold outside of the Exchange, they will not be able to keep their subsidy.
Everyone must re-enroll or select a new plan for 2015 during the general open enrollment period, Nov. 15, 2014 – Feb. 15, 2015, even people who use the special enrollment to change plans now
“I’ve created this special enrollment period in direct response to consumer complaints I’ve heard over the last several months,” said Kreidler. “I continue to support the Exchange and the work it has done to successfully enroll over 90 percent of the people who applied for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder. They are dedicated to solving these technical issues and they are making progress. But as insurance commissioner, it’s my responsibility to do what I can to give consumers as many options as possible for getting coverage.”
The vehicle of a missing Seattle woman was located last week in the Olympic National Forest, 33 year old Donna Van Zandt was not. Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate tells KBKW last Friday evening, United States Forrest Service notified the Sheriff’s Department of an abandoned 2000 Honda Civic that had been located by hunters scouting an area near Neilton. The location was a very remote logging road approximately 5 miles in on Quinault Ridge Road. A deputy was eventually able to make his way to the vehicle and determined the car most likely had been at the location for several months due to the vegetation that had grown up around the car. The keys to the vehicle were still inside in addition to camping and hiking gear. There was no other obvious information to indicate what may have happened to the driver/occupants.
The vehicle was registered to Donna Van Zandt, a 33 year old female from Seattle. On Saturday investigators worked on locating family and friends of Van Zandt. At this point, it appears the last family contact was in April of 2014. Family members did explain that in January of this year, Van Zandt’s father was apparently murdered in New York, and April was the 2nd anniversary of her mother’s passing.
On Sunday, numerous search and rescue members searched the area where Van Zandt’s vehicle was located. Van Zandt was not located on that day.
Here is the vehicle that was located, in addition to a picture of Van Zandt.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Van Zandt is asked to call Detective Keith Peterson of the Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office at 360-249-3711.
SEATTLE, Aug. 25, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sound Community Bank (the Bank) (Nasdaq:SFBC) today announced the completed acquisition of three Columbia Bank branches on the North Olympic Peninsula. Sound Community Bank now offers banking services in Port Ludlow and expands its market share in Sequim and Port Angeles. The Port Ludlow branch marks the Bank’s first presence in Jefferson County. Sound Community Bank received approximately $22.2 million of deposits and $1 million of loans from the transaction. Sound Community Bank paid Columbia Bank a 2.35% total deposit premium.
Sound Community Bank now has six retail offices, the virtual “EZ Branch” and one loan production office. In Port Angeles, Sound Community Bank will operate the current Columbia Bank branch as Sound Community Bank until Monday, November 10. It will then consolidate into the existing Sound Community Bank branch 8 blocks east at 110 N. Alder St. In Sequim, the Bank operates at its new location at 645 West Washington St. immediately and will permanently close the original branch at 541 N. 5th Ave. at the close of business Friday, September 12. There is no location change in Port Ludlow and this branch will begin Saturday hours, 9:30 AM to 1 PM, Saturday, October 4.
Laurie Stewart, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sound Community Bank said, “We are delighted to welcome the clients and employees of Columbia Bank. The acquisition of these Columbia Bank branches helps us expand our market share and our community impact on the Peninsula. We are pleased to offer our great products and services along with our expert client service to the residents of Clallam and Jefferson Counties.”
Sound Community Bank is a full-service bank, providing personal and business banking services in communities across the greater Puget Sound region. The Seattle-based company operates banking offices in King, Pierce, Snohomish, Jefferson and Clallam Counties and on the web at www.soundcb.com. Sound Community Bank is a subsidiary of Sound Financial Bancorp, Inc.
Library patrons in the five-county Timberland Regional Library (TRL) service area asked for longer hours; starting September 2, they’ve got them! District-wide, 26 libraries and the Ask-A-Librarian service will add hours – a total of 58 more each week. The increased schedules come at no additional cost.
TRL administration, branch librarians and staff members gathered public comments in the libraries, at public meetings and from online surveys. They counted usage hours, studied peak use times for computers, meeting space and circulation materials. Then they got creative – shifting people and duties into longer open hours and reducing the amount of work done while libraries are closed.
Many communities will experience an increase in Saturday hours, resulting in all libraries being open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The new schedule provides more consistent, easy-to-remember opening times and in the largest libraries an extra hour on Friday evenings.
“Libraries are at the heart of healthy communities,” Timberland Library Director Cheryl Heywood said. “They have one simple mission: to serve the public.”
“To do this,” Heywood continued, “we have to listen to our communities, understand the issues and make the best changes possible. More open hours,” she added, “is a very good change.”
Local veteran Bill Vandenbush lost his right eye in Vietnam, his wife surprised him recently for their anniversary with one of the more unusual gifts for a Seahawk fan.
The glass eye features the logo of Bill’s favorite team, the Seattle Seahawks, he adds “we can’t take these things too seriously, things happen to people as we grow and we experience life. Sometimes we become disabled, or ill, or lose our hair, but if you take things too seriously life can get very very difficult, and we have to laugh at ourselves sometimes.”
Bill lost his eye at age 19, along with his vocal cords during combat operations in Vietnam, his book “If Morning Never Comes” can be found on Amazon.com and through third party sellers.
Washingon State Governor, Attorney General lead legal response to Supreme Court psychiatric boarding decision
On Friday Attorney General Bob Ferguson, in conjunction with a broad coalition of organizations, filed a motion in the Washington State Supreme Court to address the impacts of the court’s recent decision on psychiatric boarding. The motion asks the court to delay the effect of its decision so that the state can implement Governor Jay Inslee’s plan to make sure alternative care is available.
A broad coalition of hospitals, healthcare organizations and disability rights groups joined today’s motion. All of these groups had earlier asked the court to end psychiatric boarding. They nonetheless joined this request to ensure that the practice can be ended in a responsible manner, through implementation of a plan developed by the state Department of Social and Health Services. As the first step in that plan, Inslee today approved the immediate expenditure of $30 million for DSHS to purchase mental health services for some of the patients currently involuntarily detained.
The state respects the court’s ruling, but is aware that immediate implementation without alternatives in place could cause severe negative consequences. As a result the state, healthcare providers, hospitals and disability rights organizations are asking the court to delay the effective date of its ruling by 120 days to give the system time to adapt.
“My office wants to ensure the state is able to implement the court’s decision in a way that protects vulnerable individuals, public safety and healthcare providers,” said Ferguson. “No one would benefit from the release of people in mental health crisis without treatment. We hope the court will see the broad consensus in support of this motion and grant it.”
“I appreciate that so many parties have come together to agree on this plan,” Inslee said. “We are not challenging the Supreme Court ruling. We all want to implement the decision but we need to make sure patients receive the treatment they need and that the community is protected.”
Under state law, counties may detain individuals with “a mental disorder” for evaluation and treatment who are a threat to themselves or others. In recent years, counties have often relied on psychiatric boarding in hospital emergency rooms for such individuals because of a lack of space in certified evaluation and treatment facilities. On August 7, the Supreme Court held in the case In re Detention of D.W. that state law does not allow psychiatric boarding.
Under the court’s normal rules, its decision would become effective 20 days after being issued, i.e., on August 27. As has been widely reported, ending psychiatric boarding so quickly could lead to serious problems for people in mental crisis, counties, hospitals and the general public. Without sufficient certified-treatment facilities available, many people who present a threat to themselves or others will be released without treatment.
To avoid this result, the AGO, governor and the Department of Social and Health Services have worked closely with healthcare organizations, hospitals, and disability rights advocates to come up with an interim solution.
In the motion filed today, the parties detail the plan they have developed, and ask the court to delay the effect of its ruling for 120 days to allow the plan to be put into place. The plan calls for the state to make available 145 additional certified evaluation and treatment beds over the next 120 days. Additionally, the governor and DSHS intend to work with legislative leaders to develop a longer-term solution.
The motion, available here, is being filed on behalf of DSHS, Multi Care Health System, Franciscan Health System, the Washington State Hospital Association, Disability Rights Washington, the Washington State Medical Association, the ACLU of Washington, the National Alliance on Mental Illness Washington, the Washington Association of Public Hospital Districts, the NW Organization of Nurse Executives, the Washington Chapter of American College of Emergency Physicians, the Washington Council of Emergency Nurse Executives, Washington State Nurses Association and SEIU 1199NW (which represents nurses).
A rollover accident on Highway 12 east of Aberdeen early Sunday morning sent one to the hospital. The Washington State Patrol reports their 2012 Ford Focus left the road to the right and rolled, coming to rest on its wheels at milepost 2 just East of Aberdeen at 2:23 Sunday morning. A 19 year old Aberdeen woman was transported from the scene, her 23 year old male passenger from Fort Lewis was uninjured, both were wearing their seat belts.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with the Cities of Aberdeen, Cosmopolis, and Hoquiam, as well as Grays Harbor County is holding 3 briefings on the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in Aberdeen on Tuesday, August 26th
In addition to a review of the National Flood Insurance Program and the recent reforms they will also be reviewing floodplain management requirements and mitigation activities at the 10am and 7pm briefings. The 2pm briefing will focus primarily on the NFIP insurance policy and the recent legislative reforms.
Phone scams again targeting Grays Harbor residents, the Aberdeen Police Department tells us they’ve received reports on scams ranging from a man claiming to be from the IRS, or some other federal agency, to threatening arrest, or even offering lottery winnings. A new scam involves a soldier, claiming to be stranded somewhere and hoping that a patriotic mark will send them cash.
The formula is the same and should be getting easier to spot. The caller will threaten legal action, or that you will be arrested if you don’t pay up. They may claim to be in law enforcement, but police will tell you they will not call your home to resolve a debt or warrant.