By Edie Jeffers
TACOMA – The Washington Health Benefit Exchange has selected Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department to help Pierce County residents find, compare and enroll in health insurance programs. The in-person assistance effort is part of the Washington Health plan finder Customer Support Program.
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department is one of 10 organizations, including public health agencies, coalitions, regional health networks, and other community organizations chosen statewide to build and oversee a network of community partners that will help residents enroll in a qualified health plan startingOct. 1, 2013 for coverage that will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s efforts will provide residents with impartial information to help them determine which health insurance options best fits their needs. These efforts may take place through in-person meetings, online communications and over the phone.
“We are pleased that the Washington Health Benefits Exchange has selected Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department as the lead organization to coordinate its In-Person Assister Program for Pierce County,” said Anthony L-T Chen, MD, MPH, director of health. “We look forward to working with our partners and the community to make sure that everyone can get the health care coverage they need to be healthy.”
To ensure statewide consistency, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange will lead curriculum and training materials development to effectively train Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and other lead organizations. These organizations will then be responsible for training their partner networks. All organizations will need to pass a certification exam before working with consumers.
“We are excited to partner with such knowledgeable and trusted organizations that are experts at reaching people in their communities,” said Richard Onizuka, Ph.D, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “Their work will help connect hundreds of thousands of people with quality health coverage – many for the first time.”
The Exchange has received a total of $6 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop the program in all areas of the state via lead organizations.
Find more information about Washington Healthplanfinder and the Washington Health Benefit at www.wahbexchange.org.