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Help available for uninsured

People confused about signing up for health insurance on the new Washington Health Benefit Exchange can get some face-to-face help thanks to the “in-person assisters” program starting tomorrow, Oct. 1.

People who need insurance advice can go to one of the local providers listed on the Washington Healthplanfinder website at wahealthplanfinder.org/map.php to talk to a trained, certified representative who can help them enroll in the system.

“We have in-person assisters who will be at community events, family nights, health fairs... out in the community,” said Maria Benevides of Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic. “They will be getting that information out there and contacting people.”

People who are uninsured can also contact the toll-free customer support center in Spokane. Assistance is available in up to 175 languages and trained representatives are available weekdays 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. by dialing toll-free 1-855-WAFINDER (1-855-923-4633).

Consumers can also email customersupport@wahbexchange.org with questions about the health care exchange.

“Our trained experts will ensure Washingtonians learn about and have access to the new health coverage options available through Washington Healthplanfinder,” said Richard Onizuka, Ph.D., CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “People will be able to get help online, over the phone or in-person through a local organization or registered insurance broker if they need help enrolling in coverage.”

An informational meeting about the new health care plans will be held by Yakima Neighborhood Health Services at the Sunnyside Library on Tuesday, Oct. 1, starting at 1 p.m.

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