Lower Yakima Valley residents who need a helping hand to decipher new health insurance regulations will have an ally in Yakima Neighborhood Health Services.
That’s according to the agency’s announcement this week that it received a $300,000 grant to serve as a lead agency for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange.
Serving Yakima and Kittitas counties, Yakima Neighborhood Health is one of 10 agencies that will divvy up $6 million in federal funds allocated to Washington state specifically for helping the public navigate new insurance options under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, also called Obamacare.
“We are looking forward to serving people in Yakima and Kittitas counties, connecting them with quality health coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder,” said Anita Monoian, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services CEO.
Monoian added, “Our goal is to ensure more individuals and families experience the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have a health plan that covers all of the services you and your family may need.”
The Washington Health Benefit Exchange selected Yakima Neighborhood Health, which maintains a clinic in Sunnyside, as part of the Washington Healthplanfinder customer support program.
Washington Healthplanfinder is a new way for people to find, compare and enroll in health insurance in Washington starting Oct. 1, 2013.
The coverage takes effect Jan. 1, 2014.
“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.
Yakima Neighborhood Health Services will provide residents with impartial information to help them determine which health insurance option best fits their needs.
These efforts may take place through in-person meetings, online communications and over the phone.
Yakima Neighborhood Health Services will also build and oversee a network of partners in Yakima and Kittitas counties to serve the region’s populations.
To ensure statewide consistency, the Washington Health Benefit Exchange will lead curriculum and training materials development to effectively train Yakima Neighborhood Health Services 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.
Find more information about Washington Healthplanfinder and the Washington Health Benefit at wahbexchange.org or wahealthplanfinder.org.