OLYMPIA, Wash. – Today at 10 a.m., a state Senate committee takes up a bill to do away with the elected office of Washington State Insurance Commissioner and replace it with a 10-member insurance board appointed by the legislature and governor. The board would include representatives of the insurance industry, small business and consumers. Mike Kreidler, who…
by Dave Haviland •
SEATTLE (AP) – Officials launching Washington state’s new health insurance exchange have said they aren’t concerned that computer glitches, bad weather or even debates in Washington, D.C., over a possible government shutdown will stop people from signing up for health insurance when the marketplace debuts on Tuesday.
“We’re not really worried about that,” said Michael Marchand, spokesman for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, which runs the Washington state programs involved in President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
They’re also not worried about being overwhelmed by consumer phone calls or Internet traffic or even political protests when the exchange opens, he said.
“This is a long-awaited step forward for our country and our state,” Gov. Jay Inslee said during a news conference in Olympia. “Despite the shenanigans happening in Washington, D.C., today, we’re ready to go in the state of Washington tomorrow.”
State Sen. Karen Keiser says the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and nothing that happens in Washington, D.C., this week will change that.
“This isn’t a one-day event. This is a landmark in history,” said Keiser, D-Kent.
Washington Healthplanfinder: http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org
On the telephone:
1-855-923-4633 on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
by Dave Haviland •
DUPONT, Wash. – The Better Business Bureau is warning Washingtonians about an increase in fraudulent activity related to the launch of the Affordable Care Act. The open enrollment period begins on Oct. 1, 2013, and scammers understand that many Americans are confused about their rights and responsibilities with the new program.
BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington prescribes the following:
- Don’t pay for free advice; trained and certified helpers are not allowed to charge for their services.
- Hold onto current insurance cards; coverage will continue and there is no need for special new insurance or Medicare cards.
- Learn the difference between medical discount plans and health insurance plans; discount plans alone will not satisfy the law’s minimum coverage requirements.
- Hang up on “government officials” who call, text or email to “verify” personal information; government agencies will never make these types of requests.
by Dave Haviland •
ELMA, Wash. – The Grays Harbor community will have two opportunities this month to learn more about important healthcare issues. Summit Pacific Medical Center’s (SPMC) Will Callicoat, CFO, will present another town hall style discussion on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare); while Fawn Ross, ARNP and Stroke/Telestroke Coordinator at Providence St. Peter Hospital will be hosting a free community education seminar on strokes at SPMC.
Ross’ seminar will take place Friday, September 20th at 4pm in the conference room at SPMC. The presentation will touch on what a stroke is, who they affect, how they affect your body, and the life saving responses one should take if having or witnessing somebody else having a stroke. Ross will also walk guests through what a stroke victim can expect upon arriving at the emergency department, including a demonstration on the Telestroke Robot used at facilities, like SPMC, that participate in the Telestroke Network.