Healthcare enrollment help uninsured beat the deadline | King County Public Health

Just one month remains in the first-ever opportunity to buy health insurance with deep federal subsidies. Anyone who is currently uninsured can get financial and health security by enrolling at the Washington Healthplanfinder website.

And for individuals who are having trouble accessing the website, help is available via telephone hotline or in-person enrollment events. During March, King County's network of "In-Person Assisters" has more than 110 such events scheduled.

"Competition has driven down pricing among comparable insurance plans, and most remaining uninsured people will qualify for some level of discount," said King County Executive Dow Constantine. "Anyone who believes insurance is too costly for them should really give Healthplanfinder a try."

Find out what it would cost

You can learn quickly (and anonymously) if you qualify for a discounted plan by entering some basic information at the Washington Healthplanfinder website – just choose "find and compare plans." However, experts caution not to wait until the last minute, because choosing which insurance plan is best for you can take some time.

Open enrollment applies to those who are eligible for reduced cost insurance, with incomes from 139-400% of federal poverty level. Another open enrollment period comes next fall. And for those at lower incomes, enrollment continues all year in Washington Apple Health.

"It's all of our responsibility to spread the word within our communities that health insurance is important and worth having," said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. "Access to preventive care is the best way to improve the overall health of the community and protect our families from an emergency."

Most people have successfully enrolled online, with minimal assistance. When they do need help, Public Health – Seattle & King County is coordinating a network of 23 partner organizations that provide help at enrollment events.

For example, on March 8, a "National Day of Action" for enrollment, local residents can get help at eight enrollment locations.

Quick facts:

  • 115,100 newly enrolled in King County since October 1, 2013
  • 406,263 newly enrolled in Washington state
  • 110 enrollment assistance events listed on King County's website

Getting assistance:

The effort to enroll all of King County's uninsured – a goal set last year by Executive Constantine – is bringing together government agencies, private businesses, labor unions, and service organizations. This "all hands on deck" approach is spreading the word widely (see examples at King County's health coverage blog).

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