Washington Health Benefit Exchange Names Nine Organizations to Provide In-Person Assistance and Outreach for Health Insurance Customers

Full-service enrollment centers to debut in Federal Way, return in Spokane at start of open enrollment on Nov. 1 OLYMPIA, Wash.

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today announced the nine lead organizations chosen to oversee in-person assistance provided to Washington residents during the upcoming open enrollment period scheduled to begin on Nov. 1.

The public health agencies, regional health networks, and community organizations selected to provide free support to individuals and families signing up for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder includes:

  • Better Health Together: Adams, Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Spokane, Stevens, and Whitman Counties
  • CHOICE: Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Thurston, and Wahkiakum Counties
  • Kitsap Public Health District: Kitsap County
  • Public Health Seattle-King County: King County
  • Sea Mar Community Health Centers: Clark, Klickitat, Pierce, Clallam, Jefferson, and Skamania Counties
  • Tri-Cities Community Health: Asotin, Benton, Columbia, Franklin, Garfield, and Walla Walla Counties
  • Wenatchee Valley Hospital: Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan Counties
  • Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement: Island, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties
  • Yakima Neighborhood Health Services: Kittitas and Yakima Counties

These nine organizations were selected from a request for proposals issued by the Exchange. Each organization was identified as best equipped to meet the enrollment needs of their service areas. Candidates were reviewed and scored based on their approaches and efforts to coordinate consumer outreach, identify hard to reach populations, and deliver in-person enrollment assistance to individuals seeking healthcare coverage.

“Given the uncertainty currently surrounding healthcare, the support and communication these organizations provide is especially essential,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Their outreach and education efforts offer reliable assistance at a time when many residents may have questions about their coverage.”

Lead organizations are responsible for building and managing networks of navigators in their service areas, including the 180 navigator enrollment sites located throughout the state. The free services navigators provide includes guiding individuals and families through the enrollment process, determining how well their current health plans worked, and exploring new coverage options available.

During the previous open enrollment period, more than 225,000 individuals and families utilized resources provided by lead organizations and navigators to enroll in health coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.

In addition to being named lead organizations, Public Health Seattle-King County and Better Health Together were selected by the Exchange to manage full-service enrollment “storefronts” that will open at the start of open enrollment on Nov. 1. The storefront managed by Public Health Seattle-King County will debut in Federal Way, and for a second consecutive year, the site managed by Better Health Together will be located in Spokane.  Additional storefronts to be operated by insurance broker organizations may also be awarded.

“We are excited to build on last year’s successful launch of full-service health insurance enrollment centers with the introduction of a new location in Federal Way,” said Michael Marchand, Chief Marketing Officer for the Exchange. “These storefronts allow us to connect with communities at a personal level to provide important resources that lead to more residents gaining health coverage.”

Individuals and families needing to connect with a navigator before or during the open enrollment period can find help in their area by clicking the “Customer Support” link on www.wahealthplanfinder.org. Additional support can be found by calling Washington Healthplanfinder’s Customer Support Center at 1-855-923-4633.

Reminders: Enrollment is offered year-round to individuals and families through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid). Customers enrolled in Apple Health will receive a notice 60 days before the month they enrolled in or renewed their coverage last year.

About Washington Healthplanfinder

Washington Healthplanfinder is an online marketplace for individuals and families in Washington to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage and gain access to tax credits, reduced cost sharing and public programs such as Medicaid. The next open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder begins Nov. 1, 2017.

About Washington Apple Health

In Washington, Medicaid is called Washington Apple Health. Coverage is free and available year-round for those who qualify. Since the Affordable Care Act launched in October 2013, more people have access to preventive care, like cancer screenings, treatment for diabetes and high blood pressure, and many other health care services they need to stay healthy. Apple Health clients enroll and renew online using Washington Healthplanfinder. Apple Health is administered by the Washington State Health Care Authority: www.hca.wa.gov.

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