SPOKANE, Wash.--Almost 10,000 people in Washington have signed up for health insurance through the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. The enrollment tour kicks off in Spokane Wednesday to encourage people to join.
Nearly one million people in Washington State do not have health insurance or they are under-insured according to the website. One in six of those people is using the Emergency Room which causes tax payers to foot the bill for million of dollars according to state records. The people that use the facility without health insurance pay almost three times as much for their health care according to the website.
One 25-year-old single mother of two boys told KREM 2 News that buying health insurance is out of the question.
“Can’t afford it right now,” said Guadalupe Martinez.
A Spokane based non-profit called Better Health Together is an organization set up as a result of the Affordable Care Act to help people like Martinez. They get people the information they need to buy health insurance.
“All day long, one on one, learn what health care option they're eligible for and what kind of financial assistance, whether or not that's tax credits or discounts that will make that health care affordable,” said Deanna Davis, Director of Better Health Together.
Davis and a team of 12 certified assistors will be manning a truck outside of the native health clinic on Maxwell in Spokane from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is the first stop on a statewide tour. The goal is to sign up as many people as possible for affordable health insurance.
Everyone is welcome regardless of race, financial situation or political leanings.
“It really doesn't matter where you are on the political spectrum, the fact of the matter is these are resources that are available and our community partners are ready to get you the help to access these options,” said Davis.