Uninsured in King County? Outreach team has a plan to help you

The Open Enrollment period for purchasing discount health insurance begins next week, and King County is offering free expert help – with special emphasis on areas where large numbers of uninsured people live and work.

Those areas include south King County cities such as Auburn and Federal Way, along with some neighborhoods in Seattle and Bellevue. Some of the major enrollment events this year include:

Navigators preparing for an enrollment event

Health insurance Navigators preparing for an enrollment event at Southcenter Mall, Nov. 2014

  • Sat. Nov. 7 – Seattle City Hall, 10am-3pm
  • Sat. Nov. 14 – The Outlet Collection (mall), Auburn, 10am-3pm
  • Sat. Nov. 21 – Bellevue Crossroads Shopping Center, 10am-3pm
  • Sat. Jan. 9 – Third Place Commons, Lake Forest Park, 10am-3pm
  • Sat. Jan. 16 – Federal Way Commons, 10am-3pm

Health insurance assistance will also return to public library branches in neighborhoods across the county.

This year, many people signing up for insurance can also get Metro Transit’s discount transit passes (called ORCA LIFT).

Taxi drivers, restaurant and nail salon workers

Overall, a targeted outreach effort will help the remaining adults and families in King County who do not have insurance — and connect them with Washington Healthplanfinder. Public Health—Seattle & King County has analyzed enrollment patterns and data from the US Census Bureau to identify zip codes where there are likely larger numbers of people who remain uninsured.  Those areas will get extra attention. Continue reading

How to get health insurance help before the Feb. 15 deadline

Need help sorting through insurance choices? Not sure of the difference between a co-pay and a premium?

Don’t let these stop you from getting health insurance before February 15 — the last day of Open Enrollment for reduced-cost insurance through Washington Healthplanfinder.

Getting covered feels great! (flickr photo by https://www.flickr.com/photos/pc-myshots-at-photography/)

Getting covered feels great! (flickr photo by pc-myshots@photography)

(After that date, enrollment still continues if your income allows you to qualify for Apple Health, or if you have a major life-event, such as getting married, losing a job or having a baby.)

To get help right away, start with King County’s coverage webpage.Special in-person enrollment events this weekend include:

  • Saturday, February 14, 11am-4pm, The Commons at Federal Way (mall), at Macy’s Court, 1928 South Commons, Federal Way, WA
  • Continue reading

Special “watch/learn/do-it” insurance workshop – DIY or get personal help

Why do some people still not have health insurance, a year after the new system (Washington Healthplanfinder) launched?

Our enrollment experts learned that a lot of people either get stuck on some small detail in the process – or they fear getting stuck, so they don’t even want to try the website. (Others simply don’t have internet access at home.)

That’s why Public Health created a special “Watch/Learn/Do-it” enrollment event, this Saturday, December 6, at Seattle’s downtown library. We’re offering a free one-hour workshop-style presentation, where anyone can bring their own laptop or tablet and sign-up for insurance as we go step by step through the process.

Read more at Public Health Insider — Special “watch/learn/do-it” insurance workshop – DIY or get personal help.

Eat, shop, and protect yourself & family at special enrollment events

Southcenter To DoOver the next two weekends, you can get lunch, see a movie, buy a shirt – and protect your family with health insurance.

The new enrollment season with Washington Healthplanfinder (under the Affordable Care Act) starts Nov. 15. Enrollment experts from Public Health and our partner organizations will be helping people sign-up at:

Last year, 85% of people who signed-up got financial help to pay for their insurance.

If you’re enrolling online from home and need some help, the Public Health website has tips for where to turn. Continue reading

Urban League joins enrollment campaign, co-hosts event on Sat.

stock photo for flyerThe effort to say, “get enrolled,” to all eligible King County residents is leading to new partnerships — including many organizations that haven’t traditionally focused on health-care.

The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle is one of the most prominent new partners. The organization has a trusted voice in the African-American community. And on Saturday, March 15, the Urban League will co-host a major health insurance enrollment event in central Seattle, along with several other key health partners.

  • When: March 15, from 10am – 2pm
  • Where: Miller Community Center, at 330 19th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

The goal is to raise awareness and boost sign-ups on Washington Healthplanfinder among groups that can easily be left behind by mainstream marketing and outreach.  Continue reading

Take action on March 8, and get insured before the deadline

#GetEnrolled at these sites and more on Mar. 8

#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

Latinos have biggest need for insurance, can get help March 1

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.

Latino familyThere’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

Find enrollment assistance, with help in many languages

ACRS enrollmentBuying insurance online with Washington Healthplanfinder is getting faster every week. But many people still need in-person help, so King County and its network of assisters are hosting two enrollment events this weekend with room to handle large numbers of people.

And there are dozens of additional opportunities between now and March 31, for anyone facing obstacles with the online system.

  • An all-day event, linked to the Asian Lunar New Year, is tailored to the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community. Hosts are Asian Counseling and Referral Service and International Community Health Services. Translators will be available in: Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Cambodian, Lao, Thai and Samoan.

Continue reading

Somali events show how partner groups are reaching communities

Health promoters from Global to Local teamed up with the Somali Health Board to host two insurance enrollment events last month in one of Washington’s largest Somali communities. The efforts are examples of how King County’s network is reaching out to residents in their own communities — where they live and work (and in this case, pray) in their everyday lives.

Signing up for insurance can be confusing enough, without cultural or linguistic barriers. The Affordable Care Act offers huge health opportunities for people, along with a mandate — for everyone to purchase insurance.

Sign-Free screening and obamacare

A flyer at the Abubakr Mosque in Tukwila announces “health fair” event.

Continue reading

Can Seattle musicians get ‘Young Invincibles’ to think insurance?

First it was Chris Walla, guitarist for popular Seattle indie-rock group Death Cab for Cutie. He joined Washington Healthplanfinder at the UW-Seattle campus last week to talk to students about the importance of health insurance.

This week, two more bands will tell their fans — get covered! They’re performing Thursday at a Health Insurance dance-party, at the Capitol Hill nightclub, Chop Suey.

Whatever it takes? It’s not just about lending their celebrity. Walla also hopes sharing his personal enrollment story with fans would help Washington Healthplanfinder connect with these otherwise hard-to-reach “young invincibles” and encourage them to get covered.

Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, left, talks to UW students about health insurance at WA Healthplanfinder's on-campus enrollment event

Death Cab For Cutie guitarist Chris Walla, left, talks to UW students about health insurance at WA Healthplanfinder’s on-campus enrollment event

Continue reading