'Navigators' Help People Enrolling in Healthcare in Washington

By Steve Jackson

More people are now trying to sign up for health insurance under Washington state’s health plan finder, with the deadline of December 23rd for those who want coverage to start on January 1st. But, enrolling has been complicated by the fact that last week, the web site was off and on for several days. And it has not been easy for many people to get through to the state's exchange by phone for help.

The other option is to meet with one of the systems navigators in person for assistance. The Spokane County Library is one facility that is sponsoring seven navigators to assist people. Aileen Luppert is one such navigator who feels the library is a trusted source. She says "I think when your working on a one on one you work on those things together, and I think people have a feeling that the library is a neutral place where you can get information that isn’t biased.”
 
Luppert says those who have sought help from the navigators so far come from various backgrounds. "We had suspected we would get people without health insurance, but CHAS has navigators too, so we’ve had a fair number of people who are employed and don’t have coverage, or even those who are unemployed but too young to Medicare, we've had a fair number of those as well,” sats Luppert.
 
If you would like to get help from one of the county library district navigators, you can call the Valley Library at 893-8400 to schedule an appointment.
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