Elizabeth Winders helps a client at the health care enrollment center in Federal Way. The center opened on Nov. 1 to help South King County residents with their health insurance enrollment questions. HEIDI SANDERS, Tukwila Reporter

Health care enrollment center opens to serve South King County residents

A health care enrollment center opened on Nov. 1 in Federal Way to serve residents in South King County.

The center, at 1640 South 318th Place, Suite B, is staffed with navigators who are certified to help people find the insurance plans they are eligible for under the Affordable Care Act.

“In this humble space between a burger joint and chiropractor, health care rhetoric meets the real world,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said at the opening of the enrollment center.

Enrollment for 2018 coverage opened Wednesday and runs through Jan. 15. Those who qualify for Washington Apple Health, also called Medicaid, can sign up at any time.

The Federal Way location was selected because data shows there are more uninsured adults in the south end than elsewhere in the county.

“While the uninsured rate in King County for adults is 6.7 percent, which nationally is very good,” Constantine said. “The uninsured rate here in South King County is 15 percent. That’s way south county is a focus for us.”

Cities with non-enrollment rates above the county average are Des Moines (18.1 percent), Burien (15.7 percent), Federal Way (15.7 percent), Tukwila (15.3 percent), SeaTac (11.8 percent), Auburn (10.3 percent) and Kent (8.8 percent).

The new enrollment center is one of two in the state.

“Our message today is simple: Get health insurance.” Constantine said. “Now is the time to do it, and we are here to make it easy.”

The enrollment center is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays; 10 a.m to 7 p.m. Wednesdays; and 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

King County has partnered with 40 organizations throughout the county to provide additional enrollment assistance. Enrollment help will be available at Foster Library, 14380 Tukwila International Boulevard, from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14. For more information, visit kingcounty.gov/coverage.

People can also sign up for insurance through wahealthplanfinder.org.

King County Executive Dow Constantine speaks encourages residents to sign up for health care at the opening of a health care enrollment center in Federal Way on Nov. 1. HEIDI SANDERS, Tukwila Reporter

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