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State exchange opens customer support program for new health plan options

PR Newswire

SPOKANE — The Washington Health Benefit Exchange has unveiled details of its Customer Support Program for Washington Healthplanfinder — the new way for state residents to find, compare and enroll in health insurance plans starting Oct. 1. The support effort will focus on providing answers to questions about new types of health coverage options and financial help that will be offered to qualifying consumers.

Key to the program is the toll-free Customer Support Center in Spokane, which is now open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. by dialing toll-free 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633). Consumers can also email customersupport [at] wahbexchange [dot] org.

“Our trained experts will ensure Washingtonians learn about and have access to the new health coverage options available through Washington Healthplanfinder,” said Richard Onizuka, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “People will be able to get help online, over the phone or in person through a local organization or registered insurance broker if they need help enrolling in coverage.”

Ten lead organizations selected by the stae exchange are partnering with nearly 100 community organizations statewide including public health agencies, coalitions and regional health networks to begin education and enrollment efforts in their local areas this fall. Additional partners will be confirmed in the weeks ahead. Known as in-person assisters, these organizations can be located via a searchable map at www.wahealthplanfinder.org/map.php

The exchange also has awarded $420,000 in grant funding to five organizations as part of its Tribal Assister Program. These organizations, which includes a coalition of tribes and tribal-affiliated organizations, have the expertise to help tribal members, their families and other community members to compare and enroll in health coverage.

All health plans offered through Washington Healthplanfinder meet strict benefit and quality standards, and cover essential benefits including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescriptions and regular check-ups. An individual making up to $45,000 and a family of four making up to $94,000 a year may qualify for financial help toward premiums and copays. Free and low-cost coverage is also available.

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange is a public-private partnership established in accordance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) with the goal to redefine people’s experience with health care through the creation of a new health insurance marketplace for individuals and small businesses. The exchange is separate from the state and governed by an independent 11-member board.

Washington Healthplanfinder (www.wahealthplanfinder.org) will be a new online marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses in Washington to compare and enroll in health insurance coverage and gain access to tax credits, reduced cost-sharing, and public programs such as Medicaid. Washington Healthplanfinder will begin enrolling consumers on Oct. 1 for insurance coverage beginning on Jan. 1.

Source: Washington Health Benefit Exchange

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