North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Get help in applying for health insurance

A professional can help guide participants through applying for health insurance on Jan. 7 and 11

 

Christopher Andersson

People wanting assistance in applying for health insurance for 2016 can stop by the Arlington Library on Jan. 7 or Jan. 11.

Those looking for help in applying for health insurance for 2016 can stop by the Arlington Library on Jan. 7 or Jan. 11 for one-on-one help.

Jessica Hernandez from the Sea Mar Community Health Center will be at the local library to answer questions about health insurance plans and to help people understand the benefits and costs of health insurance plans.

"People are sometimes still confused about applying for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act," said Deborah Adriance, managing librarian at the Arlington Library.

Adriance said that many people still have questions about how to navigate health insurance since the Affordable Care Act.

"I think this help fills a need," she said. "We, the reference librarians, get questions how to get health insurance, where to get it, how to apply and what the benefits are," she said.

Bringing in someone who can help with those questions can help the public, she said.

"We're not experts on health insurance, so we can't offer that kind of help always, so brining in people like Jessica [Hernandez] benefits people here who need that kind of help with their healthcare coverage," said Adriance.

Hernandez can also help people through the process of applying online.

"A lot of people have trouble with the online enrollment, it's sometimes hard for people to apply for the insurance that way," said Adriance.

This is especially a challenge for those who are unfamiliar or not confident with working with technology, she said.

At the end of the process Hernandez can help people submit their application online as well.

The deadline for enrollment for health insurance this year is Jan. 31. In addition there will be a financial penalty for those who are not covered by health insurance this year as well.

Those in financial need can receive help with discounts or with the government-provided Medicaid coverage though, said Adriance, and can receive assistance understanding those benefits.

"They might be eligible for sliding-scale payments or a discount because of their financial situation," she said.

Those interested can bring the names, contact information and social security numbers of the people seeking health insurance coverage.

If they have health insurance plans they are interested in, they can bring in that information and talk about the benefits and costs with Hernandez as well.

There is no registration required to get help and anyone interested can just walk in.

Hernandez also speaks Spanish.

"So Hispanic people will have someone that can help if they are not as confident in their ability to speak English," said Adriance.

The event takes place on Jan. 7 and Jan. 11, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on both days, at the Arlington Library, 135 N. Washington Ave., Arlington.

More information about Arlington Library events is available at sno-isle.org/locations/arlington or by calling 360-435-3033.

 

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