State among leaders in ‘Obamacare’ sign-ups
By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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“We are leading the charge in enrollment,” said Bethany Frey, who told the Peninsula Daily News that, as of Monday, 35,528 Washington residents have fully enrolled in new health coverage under the program also known as “Obamacare” since Oct. 1.
An additional 56,000 residents have completed online applications that are awaiting payment due by Dec. 23.
Additional applications received through community organizations on paper over the weekend were not yet reflected in the totals.
Also remaining to be calculated is a county-by-county breakdown for enrollment, Frey said.
Regional and county numbers are expected to be available within a few weeks, she said.
The Washington Healthplanfinder is online at www.wahealthplanfinder.org.
Or applicants can phone 855-923-4633 weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Many of the completed new health care policies — 19,658 — are through expanded Medicaid, which allows for more “working poor” adult coverage than the previous plan.
Many new Medicaid recipients — 11,341 — were already eligible for Medicaid, and their health care coverage already has been activated, according to information provided by the state.
“We’re pleased by the strong response of Medicaid-eligible residents, with more than 30,000 new enrollments over the first 20 days of October,” said Dorothy Teeter, director of the state Health Care Authority.
The Customer Support Center has received 65,634 calls — above forecasts — due to strong consumer interest, Frey said.
The Washington Healthplanfinder website has counted 5,703,091 unique page views — individuals researching their health care options, state figures showed Monday.
State-operated insurance markets opened Oct. 1 under the Affordable Care Act, designed to offer affordable insurance for individuals and small businesses, and to make sure health insurance is made available to people with pre-existing conditions and other reforms.
The federal law, which requires all citizens to purchase insurance or pay a fine, goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2014.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: October 21. 2013 6:17PM