As the daunting task of enrolling 180,000 King County residents draws near, community members and county employees alike are forming a fleet of “In-Person Assisters.”
They’re trained, certified one-on-one guides who help ordinary people navigate the murky waters of health insurance coverage.
On Friday, Sept. 6, a group of county employees became the first to earn the “IPA” title.
After a day-long training, all 14 Client Service Specialists at Public Health – Seattle & King County passed the test to become Certified In-Person Assisters. This is the first group in the county (and possibly the state) to be completely trained and certified. Additionally, four Administrative Service Specialists completed the training and have either passed the test or are scheduled to take it.
In-Person Assisters will help guide residents through the Washington Healthplanfinder website, advise them on health coverage options and connect them with the resources to seek financial help.
Training is key
Since In-Person Assisters are trusted with personal and financial information, including social security numbers, they will be tasked with guiding major decisions — and they must be tested and certified by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
The Washington Health Benefit Exchange has approved 35 plans, each with its own copay and deductible variables. In-Person Assisters will help enrollees narrow these myriad options and choose the best fit.
Many community enrollment events will be staffed by In-Person Assisters. Plan to attend an event in your area.