Demand for health insurance in King County still growing, as end-of-year surge begins
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
County and its partner agencies ready to help people get enrolled
The demand for affordable health insurance remains high in King County, as 80,000 residents have either enrolled or applied for coverage since the new insurance exchange launched on October 1.
They're signing up for insurance that's free or affordably priced, through Washington Healthplanfinder.
Lines of people seeking help have become common at sites in King County where specially trained assisters are offering guidance.
"King County is leading the nation in healthcare enrollment, thanks to our 'all hands on deck' approach," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "The word now is: Anyone who wants coverage to start in January needs to purchase a private plan by this coming Monday, December 23."
The county is using all branches of government, along with private businesses and volunteers, to promote enrollment. In addition, Public Health Seattle & King County is leading a network of In-Person Assisters, from a network of health centers and community groups, to help anyone with a barrier to using the online enrollment system.
"This will give me peace of mind," said Gary Flaten of Seattle, one of the local residents who enrolled. "Being 64 and not having health insurance can give you a little anxiety. That is one anxiety I don't have to worry about now."
Key enrollment dates
The open enrollment period extends through Mar. 31, 2014. Those qualifying for Apple Health, the expanded Medicaid program, can enroll at any time.
However, the Monday, Dec. 23 deadline is important for anyone whose current insurance plan is expiring or transitioning into a different plan. In order to avoid a gap in coverage, they need to enroll now. Those who purchase a private plan by next Monday will have full coverage starting on Jan. 1, 2014.
Best ways to enroll:
- Through the online Healthplanfinder site, where individuals can type in some basic information and compare different insurance plans based on price, co-pays and which medical providers they include
- Having trouble with the website? Use Healthplanfinder's Help-Line, at 1-855-923-4633
- King County's network of In-Person Assisters is available. You can get a tailored list of locations via text message or view a list online by city. Some of the upcoming opportunities include:
||10548 5th Ave NE
|Federal Way Library
||34200 1st Way S
||308 Kirkland Ave
|Valley Cities Counseling
||221 Wells Ave S
|WorkSource/YWCA Opportunity Place
||2024 Third Ave
||126 Auburn Ave, #300
|High Point Branch Library
||3411 SW Raymond St
|Richmond Beach Library |
|19601 21st Ave NW |
|Mountlake Terrace Library Health Fair
||23300 58th Ave. W
|SeaMar - South Park Clinic
||8720 14th Avenue S
|SeaMar - White Center
||9650 15th Ave SW
|King North Community Services Office
||9600 College Way N
* this event has been cancelled
Providing effective and innovative health and disease prevention services for over 2 million residents and visitors of King County, Public Health Seattle & King County works for safer and healthier communities for everyone, every day.