• 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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  • Backup Device Stolen From Employee at Grays Harbor Pediatrics Contained Personal Information

    ABERDEEN, Wash. – Grays Harbor Pediatrics discovered on November 23, 2010 that a computer backup device was stolen from a Grays Harbor Pediatric employee. The backup device was used for storing copies of paper records. Grays Harbor Pediatrics has notified all patients and patient billing guarantors.

    An investigation of the data has revealed that information stored on the back up device may have included personal information ranging from Social Security numbers, insurance details, driver’s license information, medical history forms, immunization records, previous doctor records, and patients’ medical records which were scanned and maintained in a paper format. Banking information was not stored on this digital device and therefore not breached.

    Grays Harbor Pediatrics has secured all current software applications by changing passwords, implementing new encryption software and updating security protocols to ensure that no patient information may be compromised. In addition to procedural changes, Grays Harbor Pediatrics has contracted with ID Experts® to provide an informational toll-free number and website to answer questions about this incident. Patients with questions regarding this incident can visit www.PediatricsSecure.com or call 1-877-810-7248.

    This press release is in accordance with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. Grays Harbor Pediatrics has notified patients, billing guarantors and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

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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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