The time is near if you want to enroll in healthcare through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or "Obamacare." A new website that launched today will help you find your way to an insurance provider near you. The open enrollment period opens next Tuesday.
This new website, www.i-pan.org, shows the places around town and in all of Eastern Washington to find healthcare through the ACA.
A call center is also open to answer your questions, Washington Health Benefit Exchange 1-855-923-4633.
When a new item floods the marketplace you'll need customer service representatives standing by. It's why there is a call center in Spokane Valley to answer your questions on ACA.
Next week you can also meet with face-to-face with representatives to sign up for a variety of insurance plans.
Curt Fackler is an in-person manager at Better Health Together, a company that overlooks healthcare options for 14 counties in Eastern Washington.
"People can do that for airline tickets. They can do that for hotel rooms, and now you'll be able to do it for health insurance in the State of Washington," said Fackler.
They've trained 160 employees at those sites to enroll people starting Tuesday.
"They're used to working with individuals and people, helping people out and that's what it's about. We are here to help people," said Fackler.
There's still a lot of confusion on how it works. For example, a new poll by CNBC shows 46% of people oppose "Obamacare" and 37% oppose the ACA not knowing they're the exact same thing.
So there are a number of questions Fackler and his colleagues hope to answer.
Fackler says in the next year they only expect 10,000 people to enroll in Eastern Washington even though 120,000 are uninsured.
"So as we get more and more people covered, they'll be less charity care and uncompensated care so that should lower rates for everybody else," Fackler said.
Employees don't expect a big rush October 1 because the open enrollment period lasts through March of next year.
But he's looking forward to finally getting started with a product they've been waiting to unveil.
"It'd be nice to have a line as big as the Apple Store, but we'll just see," said Fackler.