Washington Healthplan Finder 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 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 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 No Health Care Policy Extensions in Wash. State http://www.kplu.org/post/no-health-care-policy-extensions-wash-state <p></p><p>Washington state’s insurance commissioner says he will not allow companies to extend canceled policies. State commissioners are able to overrule <a href="http://www.kplu.org/post/obama-moving-delay-cancellations-insurance-plans">the concession President Barack Obama announced</a> Thursday.</p><p>Commissioner Mike Kreidler said allowing people to keep their old plans would warp the whole marketplace.</p><p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 22:05:31 +0000 Gabriel Spitzer 11072 at http://www.kplu.org No Health Care Policy Extensions in Wash. State Wash. Behind Only Calif., N.Y. in Health Care Sign-Ups http://www.kplu.org/post/wash-behind-only-calif-ny-health-care-sign-ups <p style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Verdana, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif, Geneva; font-size: 15.454545021057129px; line-height: 15px;">New federal statistics show Washington state has signed more people up for health insurance since open enrollment began Oct. 1 than any state other than New York and California.</p><p> Wed, 13 Nov 2013 22:57:48 +0000 The Associated Press 11046 at http://www.kplu.org Wash. Behind Only Calif., N.Y. in Health Care Sign-Ups 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 Small businesses in Washington lose out on subsidized health plans http://www.kplu.org/post/small-businesses-washington-lose-out-subsidized-health-plans <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Small businesses in Washington state will not be able to participate in the new health care law, because not enough insurance companies were willing to sell them coverage.&nbsp;</span></p><p>The biggest part of Pres. Barack Obama’s new health care law is aimed at people with no health insurance. Starting this fall, they’ll be able to buy individual health policies from an online system where they can compare prices. It's also where you can get subsidies for insurance. In Washington state, it's called <a href="http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org/" target="_blank">Washington HealthPlan Finde</a><a href="http://www.wahealthplanfinder.org/" target="_blank">r</a>.</p><p>If you work for a business with fewer than 50 employees, the law says your employer has the option of getting insurance for low and middle-income workers—with subsidies. That won’t happen in Washington, at least not on time.</p><p> Fri, 10 May 2013 23:51:14 +0000 Keith Seinfeld 8742 at http://www.kplu.org Small businesses in Washington lose out on subsidized health plans