Obamacare http://www.kplu.org en On Last Day Of Enrollment, Shoppers Rush To Sign Up For Health Insurance http://www.kplu.org/post/last-day-enrollment-shoppers-rush-sign-health-insurance <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/142409638&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p>Midnight&nbsp;Monday marks the end of the first open enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. That means most people without insurance&nbsp;come Tuesday will have to wait seven months to sign up.</p><p>In spite of some outages, last-minute shoppers have mobbed the websites for state and federal exchanges. And they also showed up in person at King County’s public health headquarters for an eleventh-hour enrollment event.</p><p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 21:31:39 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 15515 at http://www.kplu.org On Last Day Of Enrollment, Shoppers Rush To Sign Up For Health Insurance Who In Washington Deserves An Extension On Monday's Obamacare Deadline? http://www.kplu.org/post/who-washington-deserves-extension-mondays-obamacare-deadline <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/141821201&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Washington’s health exchange is wrestling with how to accommodate people who have had trouble signing up for insurance. The March 31 deadline has been looming for months, as officials urge people to get covered or face a fine.</span></p><p>But considering the well-known problems at the state and federal exchanges, officials figured some people will need an extension. The question is who gets it.</p><p> Fri, 28 Mar 2014 12:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 15407 at http://www.kplu.org Who In Washington Deserves An Extension On Monday's Obamacare Deadline? Washington Health Exchange Banking On A Big March Surge In Enrollments http://www.kplu.org/post/washington-health-exchange-banking-big-march-surge-enrollments <p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/140609992&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Most Americans who still don’t have health insurance by March </span>31<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;could face a fine, and Washington’s health benefits exchange is hoping the looming deadline will help motivate people to enroll. But so far, the exchange is lagging behind its goals.</span></p><p>Massachusetts, which served as a template for the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to get insurance or pay a penalty, saw a huge rush just before the deadline. Exchange board member Phil Dyer says Washington needs a similar surge.</p><p>“Well, I feel like we’re behind the power curve. We’ve got a long way to go,” Dyer said. “Let’s wait and see if March gets us there, and then take a hard look at planning for Exchange 2.0.”</p><p> Fri, 21 Mar 2014 12:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 15111 at http://www.kplu.org Washington Health Exchange Banking On A Big March Surge In Enrollments Edgy Washington State Ads Urge Young People To Buy Insurance http://www.kplu.org/post/edgy-washington-state-ads-urge-young-people-buy-insurance-0 <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">They drink. They dance. And they love the Sasquatch Music Festival, an annual phenomenon in Washington state. But will young people sign up for insurance on the state's health exchange?</p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 21:17:52 +0000 Scott Hensley 14482 at http://www.kplu.org Edgy Washington State Ads Urge Young People To Buy Insurance Wash. Health Exchange Beefs Up Call Center For March Rush, Warns Of Long Hold Times http://www.kplu.org/post/wash-health-exchange-beefs-call-center-march-rush-warns-long-hold-times <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Washington’s health insurance exchange has ramped up its </span><a href="http://www.wahbexchange.org/get-involved/contact-us" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">customer-service call center </a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">in anticipation of a big surge in enrollments this month. But callers should still hunker down for a long wait.</span></p><p>The Spokane-based call center got an average of more than 40,000 calls a day in January, but managed to <a href="http://wahbexchange.org/files/7813/9335/1211/HBE_EB_140227_Status_Updates.pdf" target="_blank">answer just 15 percent of them</a>. Of the rest, the vast majority got a message telling them to give up and call back later, while others hung up due to wait times that averaged 40 minutes or more.</p><p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 00:52:49 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 14381 at http://www.kplu.org Wash. Health Exchange Beefs Up Call Center For March Rush, Warns Of Long Hold Times Wash. Health Exchange Looking To Skew Younger http://www.kplu.org/post/wash-health-exchange-looking-skew-younger <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">A diverse group of people have signed up for private health insurance on Washington's state-run exchange, but officials say they still need more young people on board.&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">As of Jan. 2, some 71,205 people had <a href="http://www.wahbexchange.org/news-resources/press-room/press-releases/jan-7-enrollment-report" target="_blank">enrolled in private plans </a>on Washington's health insurance exchange, a good deal less than the goal of 130,000. But Exchange CEO Richard Onizuka said it’s still on the low end of the expected range.</span></p><p> Thu, 09 Jan 2014 13:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 12406 at http://www.kplu.org Wash. Health Exchange Looking To Skew Younger Kreidler Defends Decision to Decline Health Care Extension http://www.kplu.org/post/kreidler-defends-decision-decline-health-care-extension <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Like a lot of big projects, </span>Obamacare<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> needs time to be successful. That was the message from Washington State Insurance Commissioner&nbsp;Mike </span>Kreidler<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, who testified before a House subcommittee in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.</span></p><p>Kreidler had been invited to speak by Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, but quickly found himself in the crosshairs of another, Rep. Dave Reichert.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 04 Dec 2013 21:29:27 +0000 Ed Ronco 11421 at http://www.kplu.org Kreidler Defends Decision to Decline Health Care Extension Lawmakers Chide Kriedler for Declining Health Care Extension http://www.kplu.org/post/lawmakers-chide-kriedler-declining-health-care-extension <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Washington’s Insurance Commissioner Mike </span>Kreidler<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> is getting an earful from lawmakers over his decision not to grant relief to people losing their health plans next month.</span></p><p>President Barack Obama, to make good on a promise that had begun to ring hollow, said he’d allow those losing their coverage to keep it for a year. But Kreidler <a href="http://www.kplu.org/post/no-health-care-policy-extensions-wash-state">declined the fix</a>, calling it a bad fit for Washington.</p><p> Sat, 23 Nov 2013 00:02:45 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 11249 at http://www.kplu.org Lawmakers Chide Kriedler for Declining Health Care Extension On Wash. Health Exchange, Strong Numbers and Some Anxiety http://www.kplu.org/post/wash-health-exchange-strong-numbers-and-some-anxiety <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Washington’s new health insurance exchange has been touting its </span><a href="http://www.wahbexchange.org/news-resources/press-room/press-releases/nov-19-enrollment-data" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">strong enrollment numbers, </a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">especially in comparison to the deeply-troubled federal exchange. But members of the board overseeing the exchange are starting to express some anxiety about meeting their signup goals.</span></p><p>The exchange reports 98,399 enrollments, as of mid-November. But the vast majority, 88 percent, are enrolled in the government-sponsored Medicaid program. The state needs to get many more people into private qualified health plans, or QHPs, to create a functioning market.</p><p> Thu, 21 Nov 2013 05:49:36 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 11190 at http://www.kplu.org On Wash. Health Exchange, Strong Numbers and Some Anxiety For the 'Unbanked' in Wash., a Barrier to Accessing Obamacare http://www.kplu.org/post/unbanked-wash-barrier-accessing-obamacare <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Washington’s health exchange has been a bright spot in the slipshod rollout of </span>Obamacare<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, but one requirement for signing up could be a barrier to the very people the new law is supposed to serve.</span></p><p>To sign up for coverage on <a href="https://www.wahealthplanfinder.org/HBEWeb/Annon_DisplayHomePage.action?authn_try_count=0&amp;contextType=external&amp;username=string&amp;contextValue=%2Foam&amp;password=sercure_string&amp;challenge_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.wahealthplanfinder.org%2FHBEWeb%2FAnnon_DisplayHomePage.action&amp;request_id=1737368252391297376&amp;locale=en_US&amp;resource_url=https%253A%252F%252Fwww.wahealthplanfinder.org%252FHBEWeb%252F" target="_blank">WAHealthPlanFinder.org</a>, you have to make your first payment by credit card, debit card or electronic funds transfer from a bank account.</p><p>But <a href="https://www.statereforum.org/sites/default/files/wa_hbe_ac_130917_payment_process.pdf" target="_blank">recent studies </a>show about one-fourth of Washington households are either “unbanked” with no access to an account, or “underbanked"&nbsp;with limited access. The number of those affected is even higher in low-income and minority communities to which many of the exchange’s target audience belong.</p><p> Mon, 18 Nov 2013 13:01:00 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 11108 at http://www.kplu.org For the 'Unbanked' in Wash., a Barrier to Accessing Obamacare Wash. Site Outage Linked to Federal Health Care Woes http://www.kplu.org/post/wash-site-outage-linked-federal-health-care-woes <p>The Washington state <a href="http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org" target="_blank">health care exchange website </a>was temporarily down on Wednesday morning as a result of a<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;digital snag in Washington, D.C.</span></p><p>Michael Marchand, spokesman for the state exchange, says Washington state's website depends on a component of the federal system to work. At the moment, it doesn't work, but once it's fixed, the state site can start accepting applications again.</p> Wed, 30 Oct 2013 16:46:35 +0000 Ed Ronco 10712 at http://www.kplu.org Wash. Site Outage Linked to Federal Health Care Woes Strong Enrollment for Wash. Health Exchange, Medicaid Plan http://www.kplu.org/post/strong-enrollment-wash-health-exchange-medicaid-plan <p>On the day President Barack Obama acknowledged major flaws in the rollout of health insurance marketplaces, Washington’s exchange reported strong enrollment. Washington Healthplanfinder announced some 35,000 people have enrolled in a plan through the website, and another 56,000 are working their way through the process.</p><p>Michael Marchand, a spokesman for the exchange, said Washington’s site was designed to get the basics right.</p> Tue, 22 Oct 2013 00:24:22 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 10587 at http://www.kplu.org Strong Enrollment for Wash. Health Exchange, Medicaid Plan King County WIC Workers Get Advance Layoff Notices http://www.kplu.org/post/king-county-wic-workers-get-advance-layoff-notices <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">At least 82 King County workers have received advance layoff notices as a result of the partial federal government shutdown. The workers administer food assistance to women, infants, and children through the program known as WIC. That food aid is in jeopardy as the shutdown continues.</span></p><p> Thu, 10 Oct 2013 00:26:32 +0000 Bellamy Pailthorp 10375 at http://www.kplu.org King County WIC Workers Get Advance Layoff Notices Despite D.C. 'Shenanigans,' Wash. to Launch Health Exchange http://www.kplu.org/post/despite-dc-shenanigans-wash-launch-health-exchange <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Even as Congress squabbles over the fate of health care reform, Washington&rsquo;s insurance marketplace opens its virtual doors Tuesday morning. </span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As Gov. Jay </span>Inslee<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> put it, &quot;Despite the shenanigans in D.C., we&#39;re ready to [launch our health care exchange].&rdquo;</span></p><p>Officials running the exchange said their federal grants have already been appropriated and they expect to be fully funded through next year.</p><p> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 22:28:36 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 10205 at http://www.kplu.org Despite D.C. 'Shenanigans,' Wash. to Launch Health Exchange 'How Much Will Obamacare Cost Me?' Try Our Calculator http://www.kplu.org/post/how-much-will-obamacare-cost-me-try-our-calculator <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 13px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;">On Tuesday, if all goes according to plan, the federal health law&#39;s marketplaces for individual health insurance are scheduled to open for business.</p> Fri, 27 Sep 2013 18:58:19 +0000 NPR News 10173 at http://www.kplu.org 'How Much Will Obamacare Cost Me?' Try Our Calculator