The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today announced that a full-service enrollment center operated by GHB Insurance will offer free in-person assistance to Thurston County residents and those in neighboring counties signing up for health and dental coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder during the upcoming open enrollment period, Nov. 1-Dec. 15.
The enrollment center is located at 556 Lilly Rd SE, Suite A in Olympia and will be staffed with licensed health insurance brokers who are ready to guide residents through the enrollment process.
“Navigators and brokers provide an invaluable service to consumers who rely on in-person help to understand and select health insurance coverage,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “With our open enrollment period shortened to six weeks this year, it is especially important consumers visit a nearby enrollment center or connect with a member of our statewide network of brokers and navigators beginning on Nov. 1.”
The factors determining the selection of GHB Insurance to operate a full-service enrollment center in Olympia were based on prior experience with enrollment and assistance, as well as the remaining number of uninsured individuals residing in their service area. Thurston County represents one of Washington state’s greatest opportunities to reduce the number of residents without coverage.
“GHB is thrilled to help people understand their healthcare options for 2019,” said Casey Meehan, an individual market specialist at GHB Insurance and president of a regional chapter of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU). “We have gotten questions about the changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and this is an excellent opportunity to clear any confusion and provide free assistance with the process, so that people get the coverage they need.”
Each of the 10 enrollment centers partnered with the Exchange is hosting regular hours of operation throughout the open enrollment period and will offer extended availability leading up to the Dec. 15 deadline to sign up for coverage. Resources available at each site include computer workstations for customers to compare their health plan options through Washington Healthplanfinder and health literacy materials explaining important health insurance terms.
With less than one week remaining until the start of open enrollment, Thurston County residents and those in neighboring counties are now encouraged to schedule an appointment to meet with a navigator or broker in their area beginning on Nov. 1. Connecting with in-person help is easiest through the WAPlanfinder mobile app that uses a customer’s current location to provide contact information for and detailed directions to the nearest navigators and brokers.
In-person help can also be found by clicking the “Customer Support” link on www.wahealthplanfinder.org. Additional over-the-phone assistance is available by calling the Washington Healthplanfinder 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 of 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 on Nov. 1.
About Washington Apple Health
In Washington, Medicaid is called Washington Apple Health. Free or low-cost coverage is 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