State to open first health insurance exchange “storefront” in Vancouver

Applied Team Insurance staff (photo via Applied Team Insurance)

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange announced on Monday that the state’s first full-service health insurance enrollment centers will open in Vancouver and Spokane next month.

Set to debut at the start of the open enrollment period on Nov. 1, the two health insurance “storefronts” will offer in-person assistance to residents as they explore coverage options available through Washington Healthplanfinder.

“The introduction of these two storefronts allows the Exchange to reach individuals and families who need coverage the most,” said Pam MacEwan, CEO of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange, in a press release. “For those who don’t have access to computers or help acquiring health insurance, these full-service enrollment centers can connect residents with the tools and in-person assistance necessary for gaining coverage.

“We are committed to connecting with as many Washington residents as possible to ensure they receive health insurance coverage,” she added. “The launch of storefronts in the Spokane and Vancouver communities allows us to reach individuals and families at a more local level.”

The storefront in Vancouver, located at 7720 NE Vancouver Mall Drive, Suite 110, will be overseen by Applied Team Insurance and will be staffed with navigators and brokers who can guide customers through the coverage options available and help determine if they qualify for financial assistance. Computer workstations will also be available for those who want to sign up without assistance.

“Applied Team Insurance is excited about the opportunity to meet the needs of our Clark County residents for the 2017 open enrollment period with our new storefront access,” said Rachel Lauser, a partner at Applied Team Insurance. “Our goal is to be available to all consumers who need assistance navigating the enrollment and renewal process for both qualified health plans and plans selected through Washington Apple Health (Medicaid).”

According to the Exchange, Clark County has one of the highest concentrations of uninsured residents in the state.

The next open enrollment period for Washington Healthplanfinder is Nov. 1, 2016 to Jan. 31, 2017.

Small business owners have the option of enrolling year-round through Washington Healthplanfinder Business (www.healthplanfinderbusiness.com).

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I'm the Editor-In-Chief of the Vancouver Business Journal and a Vancouver resident. I earned my degree from the University Of Oregon in Eugene and am a 2012 graduate of Leadership Clark County. Go Ducks!