People were waiting in line for the doors to open at 2pm on Saturday, at Garfield Community Center in Seattle.
They wanted help figuring out how to make the best choices in the new online insurance marketplace called Washington Healthplanfinder. The event included 15 In-Person Assisters (IPAs) from King County and partner organizations.
The people getting help especially appreciated having the language translators there, speaking Vietnamese, Chinese, Spanish, Russian and Somali.
Many brought their families and completed applications on the spot. Others came for advice, took notes, and grabbed informational booklets from the insurance carriers present. Then, they’ll make a decision later about which plan best suits their needs. More than 150 people passed through.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn, King County Councilmember Larry Gossett, and Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin welcomed and thanked people for attending — and together cut a special “Coverage is Here” cake.
“Wide disparities exist among various groups throughout King County,” said Gossett. “For the first time, we have the opportunity to level the playing field when it comes to health care.”
This was the biggest in-person enrollment event of last week, but dozens of others served smaller groups of people at libraries, community colleges, and social service centers. (See also this account from KUOW.) Assistance is aimed at people who might have challenges signing up privately online.
If you live in north, east, or south King County, watch for a big event, with language translators, coming up.
Next: Saturday, Oct. 12, from 10am-3pm at Third Place Commons in Lake Forest Park.