health insurance | WithinReach WA | Page 3
Home  >  Tag Archives: health insurance

health insurance

Big Changes Lead to Big Rewards

At WithinReach, we are on the forefront of health care reform and are excited about the future of health insurance enrollment in Washington State. We believe that with investments in people and technology and respectful engagement with folks, health insurance for all can be a reality.

The launch of the Washington HealthPlanFinder website represents big changes for our state, and for how all of us access coverage. It has also meant changes here at WithinReach. We have grown our team and increased our capacity to reach the thousands of Washingtonians who are newly eligible for health insurance. We welcomed 14 new people to WithinReach in the last two months and our total staff team count is over 50. This is more than double the size of our team from two years ago. Our office is literally busting at the seams as we shift space to accommodate new staff and move teams together. We have broadened our work into additional communities and expanded our skills—all while maintaining the personal and friendly culture that make this a great place to work!

Of course with all this change and growth, come some growing pains. We experienced some of those growing pains first hand, with the technical glitches of the  HealthPlanFinder website earlier this week. Health exchange websites around the country experienced many of the same glitches and delays due to the large numbers of people trying to apply online at the same time. Despite the technical issues, our team of In-Person Assisters was out in the community talking to Washingtonians at 14 sites in King and Snohomish counties. Our team talked to over 1,000 people about health insurance at these sites, and have also received close to 100 inquires for health and food assistance through ParentHelp123 this week alone.

Because of the challenges with the Washington HealthPlanFinder tool, we focused our outreach on education about what to expect next and creating appointments with individuals to sign them up for health insurance within the next few weeks. Despite some of the technology glitches, we have already seen the positive impact of the Affordable Care Act on our families. Last evening one of our outreach and enrollment specialists, Benito, enrolled a single mother and her daughter in health insurance plans through HealthPlanFinder. The mother called in with the intent of getting her daughter covered. She was skeptical about finding affordable health insurance for herself, and anxious about what ‘Obamacare’ meant for her family.  Benito explained that there were likely affordable options for her as well as her daughter, and encouraged her to explore those options. After entering her application in HealthPlanFinder Benito learned that her daughter was eligible for Free Apple Health for Kids effective October 1, 2013 and that she was eligible for a tax subsidy for herself for coverage effective January 1, 2014.  She was excited that her daughter was covered, but was still apprehensive about what kind of coverage she might be “forced to purchase”.  Benito found a SILVER level plan that was free after a $559 tax credit.

Stories like this one make our day, and fuel our desire to do more. This mother came to us looking for health insurance for her daughter and she finished the call with free health insurance for both herself and her daughter.  We are ready for action and encouraged by the numbers of people we have already been able to help in the first week of open enrollment. We will continue to provide in-person outreach, schedule appointments, take calls and provide the education and outreach that is so crucial to getting families successfully enrolled in affordable health care.

Tags: ACA   Affordable Care Act   Apple Health   Apple health for Kids   health insurance   In-Person Assisters   Obamacare   Open Enrollment   ParentHelp123   Washington HealthPlanFinder   

Washington Apple Health: A Health Insurance Answer for Many Parents

If you have questions about applying for health insurance or need assistance completing your application on Washington Healthplanfinder call the WithinReach Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.
One of the many things we do in the WithinReach Call Center is to connect families to free or low cost medical insurance for their children.  Many families call us in desperation.  Sometimes it is a mom wondering how the family will afford to cover that unexpected medical expense, anticipating a startlingly high bill in the days ahead.  Other times a dad calls, having just received word from his employer that premiums for his health coverage will be increasing, making it difficult to make ends meet.  The common element to all of these scenarios is the relief, and often-unexpected surprise, that the Apple Health for Kids Program can take much of the financial burden off their family.
For 12 years, WithinReach has helped sign up children for Apple Health for Kids (AHK), the free or low cost health insurance. Last year we helped enroll around 4,300 kids and provided information about AHK to 20,300 more families. When we start applications for parents over the phone, we realize how resilient our Washington callers are.  They often find that they have to prioritize.  They worry about meeting the needs of their children, before their own needs.  Sometimes, after we complete the application for their children’s health insurance, they ask: “Is there something like this for adults?”  Unfortunately, in the past, we have had very few options to give low-income adults who are uninsured but that is about to change with Affordable Care Act taking effect right around the corner. Washington State’s Health Care Authority capitalized on the success of the children’s Apple Health for Kids brand and has created Washington Apple Health, a spinoff brand for its adult Medicaid program.
Many people are not sure what the Affordable Care Act will really mean for their family or find themselves anxious about what to expect in the coming months.  At the WithinReach Family Health Hotline, we are proud and excited about the opportunity to connect families to the health care relief that the Affordable Care Act will offer!  It will be such a reward to tell many parents that there now is affordable health insurance coverage for adults as well as their children.
October 1, 2013 is when the Washington HealthPlanFinder call center and website will open.  New health care insurance plans start on January 1, 2014.  If you have questions, we will be here, just a phone call away and ready to help.
If you have questions about applying for health insurance or need assistance completing your application on Washington Healthplanfinder call the WithinReach Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.

Tags: Affordable Care Act   Apple health for Kids   health insurance   HealthPlanFinder   

Search Blog