Understanding your options with health-insurance exchanges, Medicare or your insurance plan can often be confusing. That is why Island Hospital offers three free services to help you make decisions with your insurance: Washington Healthplanfinder trained In-Person Assisters for questions about health-insurance exchanges, MedicareCompareUSA for questions about Medicare plans and SHIBA for questions about your insurance or understanding a medical bill.
Washington Healthplanfinder - Insurance Exchanges
In 2014, health-insurance exchanges will help people find plans that fit their needs and budgets. The ACA requires that all people 18 and older (who pay taxes) must have insurance. You can sign up for coverage starting October 1, 2013. If you sign up by December 23, 2013, your coverage starts on January 1, 2014. If you qualify for Medicaid or Basic Apple health coverage you can sign up at any time. If you want to buy private insurance, you need to sign up between October 1, 2013 and March 23, 2014, to avoid tax penalty.
NOTE: If you are on Medicare, you do not need to concern yourself with insurance exchanges. However, if you want help in comparing and choosing a plan, please call MedicareCompareUSA at (855) 607-2614.
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU (NON-MEDICARE)
For help understanding details about enrolling, including plans and prices call: Washington Healthplanfinder -- (855) 923-4633 or (360) 688-7700
To compare plans and/or enroll online visit: www.wahealthplanfinder.org
To schedule an appointment with an In-Person Assister, residents of Island Hospital district (zip code 98221) can call: (360) 299-4924
For those living in the surrounding communities, many locations have trained staff to assist you:
- San Juan County Family Resource Centers
Lopez - (360) 468-2245 or 468-4117
Orcas - (360) 376-3184
San Juan - (360) 378-5246
- Community Action Agency - Mount Vernon, WA
- Mt. Baker Planned Parenthood - Mount Venon, WA
- Sea Mar Community Health Center - Mount Vernon, WA
- Skagit Valley Hospital/Regional Health Clinics - Mount Vernon, WA
We at Island Hospital understand how challenging it can be to find the Medicare insurance plan that best meets your needs, preferences and budget. There are now more Medicare insurance choices than ever before, so careful analysis is required before choosing the plan that is right for you.
As Medicare beneficiaries consider their Medicare insurance options, it is important to remember that most healthcare providers only accept a limited number of Medicare plans, that some Medicare plans are more restrictive when accessing different healthcare providers, and oftentimes Medicare plans differ in how they provide benefits while traveling.
For our Medicare beneficiary patients, we recommend the services of the Island Hospital Medicare Insurance Helpline, provided and serviced by MedicareCompareUSA, to provide over-the-phone assistance.The Island Hospital Medicare Insurance Helpline is a free service standing by to help:
- Verify Medicare plans accepted by your healthcare providers
- Compare Medicare plans to meet your personal needs and preferences
- Identify a Medicare prescription plan that covers all your medications at the lowest cost
- Mail or email literature available for any Medicare plans of interest
- Assistance throughout the Medicare plan enrollment process
For in-person assistance with Medicare or other health insurance plans, we recommend our SHIBA services (see below).
Island Hospital Medicare Insurance Helpline
Provided and serviced by: MedicareCompareUSA
Toll-Free (855) 607-2614
SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors)
If you have questions about your health insurance or understanding a medical bill, our trained SHIBA counselors can help. We offer free unbiased in-person counseling to persons of all ages, answering all of your health insurance questions.
We provide insight and education on Medicare, private health insurance, children's health insurance, Washington Health Program, COBRA, Medicaid, medical billing issues, long-term insurance and more!
The SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors) HelpLine is provided under the supervision of the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner and sponsored locally by Island Hospital.
There is absolutely no cost to you for SHIBA services.
1211 24th Street
Anacortes, WA 98221
Appointments are required.
On Lopez Island:
Lopez Island Medical Clinic, call (360) 468-2245 for an appointment.
On Orcas Island:
Orcas Island Medical Center, call (360) 376-2561 for an appointment.
In Friday Harbor:
Life Care Center of the San Juan's, call (360) 378-2117 and ask for the SHIBA office.
In Oak Harbor:
Oak Harbor Senior Center, call (360) 279-4580 for an appointment.
Other community SHIBA resources:
Mount Vernon, Burlington and Sedro Woolley (360) 707-5567
Coupeville (360) 678-5151, extension 4005
South Whidbey (360) 321-1600
Or, you can contact SHIBA main offices (Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner) directly via this link: » SHIBA
Interested in becoming a SHIBA volunteer?
Although our SHIBA volunteer counselors may come from varied backgrounds (such as teaching, accounting, healthcare administration, the military or law enforcement), they all share common interests and abilities:
- They have a keen desire to serve the public.
- They're able to make a connection with a wide range of people.
- They're adept at reading and interpreting insurance language.
- They're skillful communicators with a knack for explaining things.
- They're adept at using the computer.
All SHIBA volunteers are required to participate in a four hour training once a month.
If you are interested in learning more about the SHIBA Volunteer Program, please contact Aubre Adams at Island Hospital (360) 299-1342 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.