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Demand for health insurance in King County still growing

 

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 (www.wahealthplanfinder.org), 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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

· For more information about getting assistance, visit King County’s enrollment page.

· For more about King County’s strategy, start with the Coverage is Here blog.

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