Regional specialists ready to help with enrollment in Apple Health

OLYMPIA – The Health Care Authority (HCA), in partnership with community organizations across Washington, is providing community-based enrollment specialists to help people enroll in Washington

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Grays Harbor Community Hospital ranked among most affordable in Washington

In light of the Affordable Care Act and a new emphasis on the cost of health

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Senate votes to give Washington residents more affordable health-care choices

OLYMPIA… Calling it a relief to citizens who have found themselves without affordable catastrophic health insurance, Sen. Steve O’Ban

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Website sees improvements, residents completing Healthplanfinder Applications

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington Healthplanfinder, the new online marketplace that connects Washingtonians to new health insurance plans and financial help, has continued to see great interest from individuals, families and small businesses statewide. Following planned maintenance, residents have reported better experiences shopping and enrolling in health coverage today at www.wahealthplanfinder.org.

 

“Reports coming in from across the State indicate that Washington Healthplanfinder is running much more smoothly today,” said Richard Onizuka, Chief Executive Officer for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Some individuals are still experiencing issues, so we’ve planned additional maintenance tonight to continue to refine our system to better meet the needs of our customers.”

 

Paper applications are still available for those who are unable to access the site through community organizations or insurance brokers. For children, pregnant women, and family medical applicants who have an urgent need for health or prenatal care but who cannot use Washington Healthplanfinder, a downloadable, a paper application is available on the Health Care Authority website. The form contains a mailing address.

 

The new marketplace has seen a steady stream of online visitors since launch as well as thousands of calls to the toll-free Customer Support Center at 1-855-WAFINDER. An updated data report will be released Friday, Oct. 4.

Washington health exchange ready to launch – regardless of federal government shutdown

SEATTLE (AP) - Politicians and administrators launching Washington's new health care exchange on Tuesday say nothing will stop the state from signing people up for health insurance.

They're not concerned about technical glitches or being overwhelmed by consumer phone calls and web traffic. They are prepared to take comments and complaints from the public. And they say the debate in the other Washington won't affect Washington Healthplanfinder, even if there is a federal government shutdown.

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. She doesn't expect protests to disrupt the launch. She adds, however, that the first open enrollment period will last six months, so early protests will not stop what she calls this landmark in history.

By DONNA GORDON BLANKINSHIP

Associated Press


Starting today, uninsured residents in Grays Harbor County can enroll in quality, affordable health plans simply by calling or visiting www.wahealthplanfinder.org Coverage begins on January 1, 2014.




Washington state health exchange ready to launch

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.

Online:

Washington Healthplanfinder: http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org

On the telephone:

1-855-923-4633 on weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

BBB already sick of Affordable Care Act scams

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.

 

Summit Pacific Medical Center to offer free community education opportunities

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.