skip to main content

Public Health - Seattle & King County

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:

  1. 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

  2. Having trouble with the website? Use Healthplanfinder's Help-Line, at 1-855-923-4633

  3. 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:

    Northgate Library 10548 5th Ave NE 98125 Wed., 12/18 2pm-7pm
    Federal Way Library 34200 1st Way S 98003 Wed., 12/18 5pm-8pm
    Kirkland Library 308 Kirkland Ave 98033 Wed., 12/18 3pm-7pm
    Valley Cities Counseling 221 Wells Ave S 98057 Fri., 12/20 1pm-5pm
    WorkSource/YWCA Opportunity Place 2024 Third Ave 98121 Fri., 12/20 9am-1pm
    HealthPoint Auburn 126 Auburn Ave, #300 98002 Sat.,12/21 10am-2pm
    High Point Branch Library 3411 SW Raymond St 98126 Sat.,12/21 11am-2pm
    Richmond Beach Library 19601 21st Ave NW 98177 Sat.,12/21 1pm-5pm *
    Mountlake Terrace Library Health Fair 23300 58th Ave. W 98043 Sat.,12/21 11am-3pm
    SeaMar - South Park Clinic 8720 14th Avenue S 98108 Sat.,12/21 8am-4pm
    SeaMar - White Center 9650 15th Ave SW 98106 Sat.,12/21 8am-noon
    King North Community Services Office 9600 College Way N 98103 Mon., 12/23 10:30am-2:30pm

    * 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.