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Washington trains more than 1,000 brokers to help people select health plans

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange last week announced more than 1,000 registered insurance brokers will be available to help Washingtonians enroll in new health coverage options through Washington Healthplanfinder.

Washington Healthplan-finder is a new online marketplace where consumers can find, compare and enroll for health insurance in Washington state and gain access to financial help starting Oct. 1, 2013. 

 Brokers are educated and licensed professionals that can help consumers find an appropriate health plan. While all certified representatives in the Washington Healthplanfinder Customer Support Network can help educate residents and enroll them in coverage starting Oct. 1, only brokers are able to recommend a specific health insurance plan based on an individual’s needs and budget.

“We are proud of the response and the partnership with the broker community,” said Richard Onizuka, chief executive officer for Washington Healthplanfinder.

“With more than 40 health plans available, brokers’ expertise and knowledge of the insurance landscape will be of great benefit to the uninsured in our state who need assistance choosing a plan that’s right for them.”

Licensed brokers can become authorized to sell health plans offered on Washington Healthplanfinder upon completing an educational training course implemented by the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. Trainings have recently taken place in Seattle, Bellingham, Tacoma, Spokane, Kennewick, Vancouver and Wenatchee with additional trainings scheduled in September and October. Brokers must also be appointed by respective health insurance carriers to sell specific plan products.

The Exchange has designed its online marketplace to allow brokers to play a critical role in helping Washingtonians access health plans offered through the site.

Registered brokers will be provided with a unique profile and client database tracking tools in the Healthplanfinder system. Individuals, families and small businesses will be able to locate them by name or zip code.

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