Washington Apple Health

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 Apple Health, the state’s Medicaid program. Since its launch in October 2013, more than 750,000 people have enrolled in or renewed their Apple Health coverage through the online web portal […]

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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.

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  • 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.


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

    On the telephone:

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

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  • 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.

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  • Washington state awarded $1 million to increase transparency of health insurance rates

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington state has been awarded a $1 million federal grant to improve its review of health insurance rates and to increase transparency for the public.

    The grant award—provided under the Affordable Care Act—must be used by states to improve the oversight of health insurance rates, take action against unreasonable rates, and ensure that consumers receive value for their premium dollars.

    “How health insurers determine their proposed rates and our review of those rates has been kept from public view for too long,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “This award is a victory for consumers and will give us the resources to build a much more transparent system.”

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  • Mike Kreidler has been Washington's State Insurance Commissioner since 2000, and says it's part of the job to take some heat from enforcing the changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act. Photo courtesy WA State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

    A Shakeup for WA State Insurance Commissioner?

    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 […]

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  • 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.


    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.

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  • 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.


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  • Nurses Celebrate National Nurses Week by Uniting to Protect Patient Care

    OLYMPIA, Wash. – It’s National Nurses Week, and just as pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale tended to wounded soldiers, nurses today are also on the front lines, fighting to protect patient care. The Affordable Care Act has come under attack, but nurses across the country say there’s too much at stake to take away the benefits of the law.

    Norberto Molina of Miami has worked as a nurse for over 20 years. He says he cared for one little girl who had cancer but was denied coverage by three different insurance companies when she had a recurrence. He credits the Affordable Care Act for changing that practice.

    This is a little four-year-old girl that was being treated for something, and then three years later she comes back to the same thing. The father told me it was like night and day the problems that he had to go through with the insurance companies. – Norberto Molina

    The Affordable Care Act is also ensuring that young adults can extend coverage through their parent’s plans, make preventive care free, crack down on waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, and subject insurance company rate hikes to a more thorough review. 

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