Washington Healthplanfinder’s Sessions M.C.s, I-V and De-Fib, champion health care.
If you’re intrigued by the rappers in a fresh round of TV ads from Washington Healthplanfinder, sorry, don’t expect an album any time soon.
They’re fictitious. But like real rappers, they’re flashy and they draw attention. They’re meant to hook viewers — while also revealing true stories of Washington residents who’ve signed up for insurance.
“We knew we wanted to use real people and to show the tangible value of this health resource in Washington. But we wanted to avoid the typical government looking ad where someone is just talking about their experience,” said Bethany Frey, senior communications specialist for Healthplanfinder and Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
“We wanted to catch people’s attention, especially that younger audience who we need to keep attracting.”
#GetCovered at these sites and more on Mar. 8
If you’ve been waiting for just the right time to figure out the new health insurance options, there’s no better day to learn about Washington Healthplanfinder than Saturday, March 8.
It’s a “National Day of Action” for everyone sitting on the fence, or needing more information, or looking for help with the new insurance options. And King County is offering ten enrollment events where you can ask questions and get help from experts (see the list below).
Getting started now is a good idea, because the initial open enrollment period ends on March 31. That’s the official deadline to enroll for insurance in 2014. (However, individuals with lower incomes can apply for Apple Health, the state’s Medicaid program, throughout the year.) Continue reading
Expanded Medicaid coverage could help inmates stay out of jail, once they are released. Flickr photo by Thomas Hawk
Meet Tony, who’s been booked into King County Jail more than twenty times. He has Hepatitis C, an enlarged liver, and a long history of alcoholism. He’s getting treated while in jail, but what happens when he gets out?
The link between jail-time and medical needs — and how the Affordable care Act can change the equation — is the focus of Ruby de Luna’s new report for KUOW.
The revolving door for jail prisoners — who come back multiple times — often has a link to inaccessible medications or untreated drug and alcohol addictions. For many of them, jail is where they finally get the medical care they need.
Then, when they’re set free, their physical and psychological health declines again, contributing to how they fall back into criminal habits.
The Affordable Care Act offers a tool to address inmates’ health concerns after they leave jail — through the expansion of Medicaid.
King County is involving caseworkers, release planners and insurance companies to provide inmates with health options as they get ready to transition back into society. Continue reading
General Consul Keny López de Zuleta in her office at the El Salvador Consulate in Seattle.
One challenge under the new health care law — nationally and locally — has been persuading Latinos to sign-up. Latinos are a diverse group, but the example of local Salvadoran immigrants helps illustrate the obstacles.
Enough Salvadorans live in the King County area to form a small city — more than 40,000 total. Sometimes, they encounter an issue with a passport, require a birth certificate, need a medical referral to a Spanish-speaking physician or any other number of services.
And many of them also need health insurance.
They often seek answers at the El Salvadoran Consulate in Seattle, which is spreading the message — applying for insurance will not expose you to any immigration scrutiny.
However, many Salvadorans’ status in the U.S. makes them uncertain about applying.
Different metal levels help shoppers select plans to suit their budget and health needs. Flickr Photo by Koston Photography
Like champion Olympic athletes, each of the new health insurance plans has a metal status: bronze, silver, or gold. There are no winners or losers, no first or last place finishers, but the metal tiers help shoppers compare similar plans from different companies.
As you compare the three levels, you’ll see how the pricing differs. Even within a particular category, premiums, copayments and deductibles vary.
Broadly, here is what you can expect from the three metal groups offered in Washington state. (All plans cover ten essentials: hospitalization, preventive care, outpatient care, emergency care, laboratory services, maternity and newborn care, pediatric care, mental health and substance abuse services, rehabilitation and prescriptions.)
With a March 31 deadline approaching to enroll in a health insurance plan through Washington Healthplanfinder, local organizations, Latin American consulates and Public Health – Seattle & King County are coming together to hold an enrollment event on Saturday, March 1 in Seattle’s South Park neighborhood.
There’s a big need for health insurance among Latinos. In King County, Latinos are nearly four times as likely to be uninsured as Whites. The vast majority of them are newly eligible for low-cost or free health insurance. For the first time, many Latinos who have not had access to health insurance now have a way to get insurance and find a plan that meets their needs and budget.
A team of bilingual “In-Person Assisters” will setup shop inside South Park Community Center in Seattle, from noon-3:30pm, and help: Continue reading
Annie Safar and Annya Pintak stand at Global to Local’s Connection Desk, which puts South King County residents in touch with community resources.
You may have heard how ethnic diversity has blossomed in South King County. The number of residents who self-identified as Asian, African-American, Hispanic, Native American or belonging to two or more races went up by an astonishing 66 percent in the 2010 census.
This includes many immigrants and others who have never had health insurance — individuals for whom words such as “deductible” or “copay” are not only foreign, but have no equivalent in their native language.
Global to Local is one community partner working to communicate the new health law to this population.
Opening the door for a diverse population
Our “What’s in a health word?” series helps decode the language of health insurance.
Bronze plans have higher deductibles on Washington Healthplanfinder.
When choosing a health care plan, your deductible is a major consideration. But the word is a confusing piece of insurance jargon.
What is a deductible? And how does it affect the quality of your health insurance?
Defining a deductible
A deductible is the annual amount of money you must pay your health care providers — doctors, clinics, labs, hospitals — before the insurance company will take over your expenses. If your deductible is $2,000, you pay your medical expenses up to that amount before your insurance begins to contribute.
Listening and learning at the Mexican Consulate’s Ventanilla de Salud (Health Window)
If you walk past Seattle’s Mexican Consulate, you’ll often see people outside the front door, overflowing onto the sidewalk of 3rd Avenue. Inside, every chair is occupied and men and women lean against the walls.
As they wait for help with passports or birth certificates, everyone will be invited to visit the Ventanilla de Salud, or Health Window.
The Health Window is actually a room, where 35-40 immigrants a day might get their blood pressure checked, learn about AIDS, or get help with health insurance and Washington Healthplanfinder.
Flickr photo by be OH be
Does it matter when your car’s odometer crosses 100,000? Nothing changes in the car, but you probably take notice.
We get new enrollment numbers for Washington Healthplanfinder, the state’s new insurance exchange, almost every week. Now, at the start of the fifth month, more than 100,000 King County residents have signed up for coverage through the Healthplanfinder website.
That includes nearly 70,000 who qualified for free insurance through Apple Health, and another 30,000 who purchased health policies (most of them at a discount that depends on your income).
In announcing the milestone today, King County Executive Dow Constantine thanked employees and partners who are getting the word out and assisting anyone having trouble enrolling, calling them “the true ’12th man’ for coverage.”
Here are four reasons to pay attention to the 100,000 milestone: Continue reading