King County says March is the month to get insured

Dozens of events to help with sign-up, next chance is October.

King County officials are reminding people that just one month remains in the first-ever opportunity to buy health insurance with deep federal subsidies. Anyone who is currently uninsured can get financial and health security by enrolling at the Washington Healthplanfinder website.

And for individuals who are having trouble accessing the website, help is available via telephone hotline or in-person enrollment events. During March, King County’s network of “In-Person Assisters” has more than 110 such events scheduled.

“Competition has driven down pricing among comparable insurance plans, and most remaining uninsured people will qualify for some level of discount,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine in a press release. “Anyone who believes insurance is too costly for them should really give Healthplanfinder a try.”

You can learn quickly (and anonymously) if you qualify for a discounted plan by entering some basic information at the Washington Healthplanfinder website – just choose “find and compare plans.” However, experts caution not to wait until the last minute, because choosing which insurance plan is best for you can take some time.

Open enrollment applies to those who are eligible for reduced cost insurance, with incomes from 139-400 percent of federal poverty level. Another open enrollment period comes next fall. And for those at lower incomes, enrollment continues all year in Washington Apple Health.

“It’s all of our responsibility to spread the word within our communities that health insurance is important and worth having,” said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. “Access to preventive care is the best way to improve the overall health of the community and protect our families from an emergency.”

Most people have successfully enrolled online, with minimal assistance. When they do need help, Public Health – Seattle & King County is coordinating a network of 23 partner organizations that provide help at enrollment events.

For example, on March 8, a “National Day of Action” for enrollment, local residents can get help at eight enrollment locations.

Getting Assistance:

• By phone, 1-855-923-4633 is the state’s toll-free help-line

• Online tips for solving enrollment obstacles – at a special enrollment website,

• In-person assistance events are listed on King County’s website and can be sent to your cell phone via text-message, by texting KING + your zip code to 468311.