Valley Medical Center (VMC) has joined a massive community effort to support Washington Healthplanfinder and the new Health Insurance Exchange & Medicaid Expansion plans. Uninsured residents in King County and across the state are now able to enroll in quality, affordable health plans simply by visiting www.wahealthplanfinder.org
. Coverage begins January 1, 2014.
At VMC there are several options for enrollment assistance. Patients can schedule an appointment with a Certified In-Person Assistor (IPA) or Financial Advocate by calling 425.656.5599. If you are visiting a VMC primary care clinic you will find phones pre-programmed to call the Washington Healthcare Exchange Customer Service Call Center.
It is estimated over 180,000 residents in King County will become eligible for health insurance so there are multiple ways for people to sign up:
• Calling toll-free 1.855.WAFINDER (923.4633)
• Through a VMC Assistor at 425.656.5599
“Too many people in our area are living without health insurance, which puts their health and their finances at serious risk,” said Rich Roodman, CEO, Valley Medical Center. “We have been working in the community to help raise people’s awareness of the new coverage options, and we've also been working with staff to help hospital visitors get more information and get enrolled.”
It’s important to note that those intending to enroll need to bring the following when meeting with an IPA or Financial Advocate:
• Names, birth dates, address and contact information for all household members
• Social Security numbers
• Passport, alien, or other immigration numbers — for any legal immigrants who need healthcare coverage
• Estimated tax status for 2012, 2013 and 2014 for all household members
• Income information for 2012, 2013 and 2014 for all adults and all minors age 14 or older who are required to file a tax return
• Information about health insurance available to your family (employer sponsored health insurance, Medicare, Tricare, etc.)
For commercial plans in the Exchange, the first open enrollment period is October 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014. The next Exchange open enrollment will be October 15, 2014 to December 7, 2014. Consumers must enroll in an Exchange plan during open enrollment, unless they experience a “qualifying event,” such as marriage, divorce, or the birth of a child. Enrollment in Medicaid, however, will be continuous and year-around.
Supporting Medicaid expansion and enrollment have both been high priority issues for hospitals. Providing healthcare—especially emergency healthcare—to uninsured patients usually results in a significant burden on the family, and can be costly for the hospital as well. The cost of care for the uninsured gets shifted to other paying patients. If more people have health coverage that covers the cost of healthcare services, and provides them with access to preventive care, the entire community benefits.