Island County 911 – The First of the First Responders

We never see them during an emergency, but they are the very first people we call when we need help: the team at Island County 911, or “I-COM 911.”

Every second counts in a serious emergency. The highly trained telecommunicators at I-COM 911 calmly help us during what may be the worst moments of our lives.

There is no question that this team of unseen, unsung heroes contribute to saving lives, protecting our property, and fighting crime. They are a lifeline for the public, and ensure the safety of paramedics, firefighters and police officers by monitoring activities by radio and supplying necessary updates for a rapid response.

April 11-17 is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week – an annual nationwide recognition of the very first people to respond when we need help the most. Many thanks to the I-COM 911 team – all of Island County residents are safer and healthier because of your outstanding work!

Walk-In Clinic Oak Harbor Now Open!

Patients and visitors on the North end of Whidbey Island now have direct, convenient access to health care seven days per week, and close to home.

Located at 1300 NE Goldie Street in Oak Harbor, our providers are ready to help with most non-emergency situations – typically without a long wait.

No appointment is necessary. The clinic is open:

  • Monday – Friday 7:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • Saturday 9:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Sundays Noon to 4:00 pm

More details about services available for families and guests are available here.

Fraud Alert

We have received reports of callers claiming to be bill collectors from WhidbeyHealth and rudely demanding payment by credit card or threatening to place liens on their homes.

These calls are not coming from WhidbeyHealth.

No caller from WhidbeyHealth will ever ask for personal information such as social security numbers. If we call to discuss overdue accounts we will recommend using our secure online  at https://whidbeyhealth.org/online-bill-payment/

If you need help with your medical bills, our team is ready to assist you. You can get started by calling 360.678.7656 extension 4097.

Community Update: WhidbeyHealth phone upgrade

Access to high quality healthcare is our top priority and we know that some of our phone systems have caused frustrations and delays. This is a brief update on the steps we are taking to address the issue:

    1. We have hired a career telecommunications expert who is focused full-time on managing our systems.
    2. Our team engaged a consultant to help identify gaps and capacity issues with the current systems. As a result, we have concluded that voice and fax systems must be replaced throughout the WhidbeyHealth organization. This represents a capital investment of approximately $800,000.
    3. We have solicited bids from three companies and invited two to submit proposals. Contract negotiations are nearing completion currently.
    4. Work will begin immediately, and we anticipate completion of the project well before the end of this year.

We know that our antiquated telephone systems have frustrated patients and families and we regret the difficulty. Once the installation of the updates system is complete, patients will be able to easily connect with our clinic staff and providers, and pharmacies can more effectively manage prescription renewals – these are two of many benefits the community can expect.

In the meantime, we ask everyone to take the following steps to help:

  • Use the MyWhidbeyHealth portals to communicate with your provider’s office.
  • Submit prescription renewal requests with your pharmacy who will process them with your provider.

Further updates on this upgrade will be forthcoming. We appreciate your feedback at any time – feel free to email us at myhospital@whidbeyhealth.org.

Stay connected with us at: facebook.com/whidbeyhealth.

WhidbeyHealth Maintains Zero Device-Related Infection Rate in 2020

WhidbeyHealth Infection Preventionist Colleen Klamm has a passion for what she does.

“I do have a passion for infection prevention,” Klamm said.

That’s why Klamm is thrilled to announce that WhidbeyHealth has had no device-related Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) since last year. Before two were recorded in 2019, WhidbeyHealth has had NO device-related infections at the hospital since April 2015.

When the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head in March, Klamm became a veritable gumshoe detective for sniffing out possible infection starters at the hospital. She also noted that the education of staff and patients on prevention processes is key.

“Possible transmission of disease or pathogens is an ongoing process,” said Klamm.

“I have monitored all employee illnesses since 2016, but in 2020 we quickly moved from monthly employee illness reports to daily reporting, so that I could maintain a watchful eye for the protection of our staff and patients.”

Klamm identified actions that needed to be taken by the staff in order to adhere to the best practices for infection prevention, and of course, with the coronavirus, the proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) became mandatory in many more situations.

“Infection Prevention can be complex and simple at the same time. If our staff is performing ‘best practices’ and if the patients are following through, everything comes together in a perfect juxtaposition of prevention,” Klamm said.

Patients may be asked to take an antimicrobial bath, let the nurse change their bed with clean sheets and put on clean pajamas, which all can be crucial to their care as it decreases the burden on their skin. This may require some education among patients so that they are aware that these actions help to reduce the bio-burden of bacteria on them and prevent the spread of infection.

In the midst of COVID-19, as science and our understanding of this new pathogen continue to evolve, Klamm’s role has been pivotal in leading the organization to proactively put evidence-based practices into place.

Education has always played a big role in infection prevention for physicians, nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), as well as for patients. WhidbeyHealth CNAs are trained to let patients know that they will be checking on their central line and their catheter frequently. They remind them that this is the best care for the patient.

“Things that may not seem important to patients can be very important to their care,” Klamm said.

Klamm has spearheaded efforts to implement sustainable practices that prevent HAIs and the proof of her work can be seen in our exceptionally low infection rates. With Klamm’s guidance, WhidbeyHealth has engaged our front-line staff to serve as champions for infection prevention by developing monitoring checks for patients with an in-dwelling device. These checks ensure that prevention interventions are performed every shift.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in 25 hospitalized patients will get an infection as a result of the care they receive. An estimated 75,000 patients will die each year of Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAIs). Many hospitals and healthcare facilities have made the prevention and reduction of these infections a top priority.  The most common infections include Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI), Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections (CLABSI), and Ventilator Associated Events (VAE). Nurses are critical in keeping the patient safe from these device associated infections.

As of Aug. 1, 2020, WhidbeyHealth has had no device-related, Healthcare Acquired Infections (HAI) at the hospital this year and that includes infections from urinary catheters, central lines and ventilators.

“Our nurses are diligent about using proper technique with the care of these devices from insertion to discontinuation and every aspect in between and it shows,” Klamm said.

“I encourage everyone to talk to their family members about these best care practices and to be prepared if they become an inpatient at the hospital. Our patients’ collaboration in these practices is our best line of defense against these infections,” Klamm said.

WhidbeyHealth is a comprehensive healthcare system, offering a network of primary care and specialty clinics available at convenient locations, some offering extended office hours. Having a Primary Care Provider (PCP) can help you stay healthy. If you are in need of a provider, please visit our website at whidbeyhealth.org to find a provider near you.

Stay connected with us for current information at facebook.com/whidbeyhealth or on our website at whidbeyhealth.org.

 

Preparation is Everything for Your Endoscopic Procedure

In preparation for your endoscopic procedure, your surgeon and your endoscopy team want you to feel prepared and safe. It is important for you to understand the precautions that the surgical team and facility management have taken to ensure a safe setting for your procedure.

Our patients’ safety is foremost in our minds during the coronavirus pandemic and at any time.  We want our endoscopy patients to know that our surgical team has thought of everything when it comes to the health and safety of our patients. Here are some things you need to know about your visit to the hospital for endoscopic surgery.

Communicating with Your Surgeon is a Shared Responsibility
Keep in mind that your surgeon will always want to hear what’s on your mind, and no question or concern is “off limits.” Patient questions are always welcome and are now more important than ever during COVID-19. If you are uncertain about anything, don’t hesitate to ask your surgeon.

The Day of Your Procedure
On the day of your procedure, you will enter at the main hospital entrance. Your temperature will be taken and you will be asked a series of questions to determine if you have signs and symptoms of infection. You will also be given a mask that you will be required to wear while at the hospital. After you are screened and masked, the registration staff will show you to a private area, where you will register for your procedure. Once registration is complete, you will be escorted to the Surgery/Endoscopy department where you will be met by a nurse and escorted to your private room. When it is time for your surgery, a nurse will bring you to operating room for your procedure. Once your procedure is complete, you will be taken back to your same private room for recovery. At no time during your stay in the surgical department will you come into contact with other patients.

Healthcare Facility Management
WhidbeyHealth Medical Center follows all federal and local government recommendations for facility management
during each phase of the COVID-19 recovery plan, including:
• Each procedure room is disinfected after every operation
• Endoscopy staff temperature-screening is performed at the start of every shift―anyone with symptoms of an infection is sent home
• All staff are required to wear masks and, as necessary, gowns and gloves
• The surgical department receives a daily report on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) supplies and the number of procedures performed daily is based on PPE supply

The Procedure Room
The procedure room is cleaned with an FDA-approved anti-bacterial, anti-virucidal solution between each operation. Routine cleaning between cases involves cleaning all equipment and furniture, as well as the floor. After any operation on a patient who has tested positive or has symptoms indicative of a COVID-19 infection, the procedure room is “terminally cleaned” after that case. A terminal two-hour cleaning of a procedure room involves not only the routine cleaning described above, but also the lights, walls and ceiling.

If you have any other questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact your provider, who will be more than happy to answer them. We want your experience at WhidbeyHealth Medical Center to be completely safe and anxiety free.

WhidbeyHealth Surgical Care (360.678.6799)

Clinics & Outpatient Services

Life is on pause, but our need for healthcare is not. Our clinics and outpatient services have resumed and all safety measures are in place for your visit. Don’t delay care; get care when you need it.

 

WhidbeyHealth Clinics are open. Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab services have also resumed at the Medical Center with all safety guidelines already in place.

The West Wind Café is currently closed to our community and visitors/support persons within the medical center. The Café is currently only open to WhidbeyHealth employees. Masks are required; spatial distancing is strictly enforced.

The Primary Care and Specialty clinics are open, including:

  • Primary Care Freeland at 5486 Harbor Ave.
  • Women’s Care at 201 NE Birch St., Coupeville
  • Sleep Care at 1300 NE Goldie St., Oak Harbor
  • Surgical Care Consults at 205 South Main St., Coupeville
  • The providers of Primary Care Coupeville will remain permanently at Cabot Drive in Oak Harbor (The former location will be used for another clinic.)
  • Primary Care Goldie Street providers and Orthopedic Care will continue seeing patients at Cabot Drive until further notice.

As with all services and areas available to our patients during the Coronavirus pandemic, the reinforcement of protective safety precautions for all patients and staff are our first priority in re-introducing services. Health and safety protocols for staff and patients during any visit will be strictly enforced and will include:

  • Temperature screening upon entry to any building
  • Patients showing symptoms of respiratory illness (fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) will be asked to return to their vehicle and call the clinic to complete their check-in. Staff will call you to come in and escort you directly to a treatment room.
  • Each patient is allowed one support person to accompany them for the duration of the patient’s visit, except in some cases such as surgery or inpatient services. In that case, please speak with your provider.
  • Patients will be required to wear a mask on entry to any building
  • All staff will be required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as the service requires.
  • Spatial distancing in patient waiting areas will be strictly enforced
  • All areas and equipment are included in the rotation of our new Halo Disinfection Systems (An evaporation system which uses a dry fogging delivery of disinfectant beyond the reach of sprays, wipes or UV lights.)

You may have heard that the new Walk-In Clinic Clinton is open!

Located at 11245 State Route 525, the clinic is available for island residents and visitors alike. No appointment is necessary.

Clinic staff is ready to address common problems such as back pain, stomach upset, cuts, earaches, allergies and the common cold. Advanced x-ray equipment is on-site as is a clinical lab. Patients can visit the clinic for diagnostic imaging, screening mammography or lab services ordered by their doctor.

(WhidbeyHealth reminds anyone experiencing a life-threatening emergency to call 9-1-1 immediately.)

Walk-In Clinic, Diagnostic and Laboratory Hours:

  • Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Walk-In Clinic Clinton can be reached at: 360.341.5252. To schedule a screening mammography or x-ray appointment, call Central Scheduling Services: 360.678.7607.

WhidbeyHealth is a comprehensive healthcare system, offering a network of primary care and specialty clinics available at convenient locations, some offering extended office hours. Having a Primary Care Provider (PCP) can help you stay healthy. If you are in need of a provider, please visit our website at whidbeyhealth.org to find a provider near you.

Stay connected with us for current information at facebook.com/whidbeyhealth or on our website at whidbeyhealth.org.

Walk-In Clinic Clinton is Open

For a virtual tour of the clinic, see below. Primary Care, LAB and Diagnostic Services are available at this location seven days a week; no appointment necessary. Call your insurance provider to see if you’re covered for walk-in care.

WhidbeyHealth celebrated the opening of Walk-In Clinic in Clinton. Located at 11245 State Route 525, the clinic is available for island residents and visitors alike. No appointment is necessary. For a virtual tour of the clinic, click here. Call for info 360.341.5252.

Clinic staff is ready to address common problems such as back pain, stomach upset, cuts, earaches, allergies and the common cold. Advanced x-ray equipment is on-site as is a clinical lab. Patients can visit the clinic for diagnostic imaging, screening mammography or lab services ordered by their doctor.

WhidbeyHealth reminds anyone experiencing a life-threatening emergency to call 9-1-1 immediately.

“We want to ensure that patients feel safe entering every WhidbeyHealth facility” said Colleen Clark, WhidbeyHealth Chief Operating Officer.


“Patients and supporters will be required to wear a mask which we will make available if they do not have one.”

Safety measures include fever screening, universal use of masks by everyone at the clinic and maintaining spatial distancing. Patients with upper respiratory symptoms may be asked to return to their vehicles to complete their registration by phone and wait for a provider to see them. Staff will be equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). WhidbeyHealth has also implemented a dry fogging disinfecting system to eliminate pathogens beyond the reach of sprays, wipes or UV lights.

“Our Board and administration have listened carefully to the south island community. This clinic offers another way for patients to access exceptional healthcare, close to home,” WhidbeyHealth CEO Ron Telles said.

“Our life may be on pause, but our need for healthcare is not. Delaying care can create serious problems later and the Walk-In Clinic Clinton is one way patients can stay healthy,” Telles added.

Walk-In Clinic, Diagnostic and Laboratory Hours:

  • Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • ASunday: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Walk-In Clinic Clinton can be reached at: 360.341.5252. To schedule a screening mammography or x-ray appointment, call Central Scheduling Services: 360.678.7607.

More information is available online at whidbeyhealth.org and on Facebook.com/whidbeyhealth.

Thank you, Whidbey Island, for Your Awesome Generosity of Supplies

Below is an updated list of donations (besides the incredible monetary donations received by our Foundation) as of May 18, 2020. We’d like to extend a big thanks to the following individuals and organizations for your donations of masks, gloves, respirators, sterilization supplies, ponchos, coveralls, sandbags, food and 3,175 donated handmade cloth masks made by local sewers!

As the pandemic continues, it becomes more and more evident that we live in an awesome community. Despite this very difficult time for our island, our state, our nation and our world, people here are coming together to help in any way they can.

Thank you, Whidbey Island, for your incredible generosity of needed supplies, funds, food and kindnesses. Your care and support goes a long way to keeping our patients, healthcare workers and all front-line staff safe.

We’d like to extend a big thanks to the following individuals and organizations for your donations of masks, gloves, respirators, sterilization supplies, ponchos, coveralls, sandbags, food, monetary donations and 3,175 donated handmade cloth masks made by local sewers! Please forgive us if we’ve missed anyone here; we appreciate all of you very much.

Take care and stay safe.

(Pictured are handmade masks and South Whidbey Middle School 7th Graders Baylie & Carlie Kuschnereit age 12, mask makers from the Whidbey Island DIYers group, who have made and donated a total of 15,000 masks for our community, 3,000 of which have come to the hospital. Awesome!)

Theodora Knouse
B. Jordan
Kathie Olsen
Safeway, Oak Harbor
Darbonnier Tactical Supply
Whidbey Sign Company
Chaplain Jeff Humphrey
Haggen Foods, Oak Harbor
Mackenize Ball
Linda Reidling
SV Student Nurse’s Club
Eat. Clean. Whidbey.
Keller Williams Realty
Larry Ford

Sue Hamilton, Coupeville Restaurants GoFundMe
The Personalize Shop, Leavenworth
Rita Cline
Dorte Callahan
Terry Brashem
Dharma Relief
Brian and Tracy Miller
Borderless Allies
Rotarians of Whidbey Island
Harvey of South Whidbey
Larry Cheek
Moira Whidby
Vicky Stone
Amber Wyman
Karl Schniker
Vickie Cadwallader
Rebecca Collins
Ashley Jones
Matt Andrews
Melissa Garden
Peter
Kati Nlguyen, PNW Vietnamese Community
Kevin, PNW Vietnamese Community
Sandy Pearse
Pat Roberts, Coupeville Lions Club
Lawrence Johnson
Melissa Miller
Shannon MacLeod
Mark McKole
Becky Templin
Living Word Church
Cristie Arnold
C. Lee Sage
Veronica Reppergee
Julie Wilson
Michelle Allison, Coupeville Lions Club
Linda Means
Bonnie Gretz and Pansy May
Glenda Michael
Julie Mercer
Julie Wilson
Tina Mueller Starks
Josep Alicea
Cathryn Booth-LaForce
Mary Zinbung
Vicky Reyes, Coupeville Lions Club
Ed LaCroix
Troy Design and Manufacturing Company
Verigreen Earth
Coupeville Lions Club
Linda Means
Ellen Woodard
Mrs. Christina Wheat
B. Jordan
Jennie Brooks
Brenda Jordan
Julie Wilson
Janie Pulsifer
Rebekah Webster
Trisha Lockhart
Ellen Woodland
Michelle Allison, Coupeville Lions Club
Whidbey DIYers
Cathy Kind
Mary McMurtry
Renee LeVerrier
Freeland Country Store
Wendy Wang, MD
Patricia Pritchard
Maki Matsuno
Alice Raymond, Coupeville Lions Club
Amanda Fronckowiak
Callie Carlson
Jennifer Carlson
Stephanie Williams
Kathyrn Morris
Billie Cook
Kim Baxter
Virginia Mayer
Dorothy Waite
Dorothy Michel
Ashley Jones
Elizabeth Whitman
Waters Edge Family Practice from Langley
Ruth Ashburn
Jaime Ruddell
Susan and Dennis Roberts
Shawn Fowler
Eileen Ryan
Vicky Reyes
Jill Johnson
Rebecca Collins
Jackie of Country Cottage, Langley
Central Puget Sound Marine Mammal Stranding Network/Orca Network
Christopher Lane Reed
Katie Buck
Monica Felici
Linda Postenrieder
Murray and Nichole Hubiak
Laura Camby
Judy Hansen
Susan Hosmer
Valerie Mascho
Tammi Sloan
Christina Parker
Linda Youngs, Coupeville Lions Club
Janell Baker
Kimberly Martin
Candie Olsen
C. Lee Sage
Susan Kreps
Kate Schwarz
Joyce Kuhn
Roger and Susanna Herndon
Mary Stewart
Laura Medbury
Chinese American Community
Line Goulet
Margaret Novden
Gary Croft
John Calwell
Richard Chen
Echeverria-Bryant Family
Dana Robinson
Patty Steele
Renee LeVerrier
Kathy Hawkes
Susan Hosmer
David Brown of Puget Sound Energy
Colleen Clark
Laura & Jim Day
Diane Paul
Cathy Kind
Gary Croft
Colleen Klamm
Paul Bigelow
Lisa and Beth Toomey-Stout
Dr. Ben Hu
Mike & Diane Quiriconi
Linda Rush
Susan Hamilton (Coupeville Restaurants GoFundMe Group)
Bill Rick
Ashley Bystrom and the Atlantis STEAM Robotics Club
Shawn Fowler
Hollie Swanson of Greenbank Farm Wine Shop
Kris Fellrath
Dharma Relief
Larry Bernhardt
Noe Jose Restaurant, Oak Harbor
Sunshine Drip Coffee Lounge, Coupeville
Living Word Church, Oak Harbor
Thank You Friday and Mackenzie Ball, Oak Harbor
Lynda Reidling, ARNP
Home Depot
Seaside Salon and Spa, Coupeville
Allure Salon, Oak Harbor
Wallin Funeral Home
Pacifica Medical
Jefferson Hospital
Ansel Santosa
Dale and Donna Stimpson
Paul Bigelow
Island County
Cenex Skagit Farmers Supply
Ron Wallin
Northwest Supply
7-11 at Cabot Drive
Henry Vasquez, DDS
Wild Crow Pies
Atlantis STEAM Robotics Team face shield makers
3D Printers across the island making face shields
300+ Mask Makers and Donors of N95s (634 handmade masks to date)
Frontier Industries
Helen and Bert Balagot
Chris Reed
Flying Bear, Langley (Thanks for sending our ER team flowers!)
And many unknown benefactors who wish to remain anonymous

Food Donation and Delivery Guidelines

When donating food to the hospital or ordering food for delivery to the hospital, please follow these guidelines. Thank you for your generous support!

Dear Whidbey Island Community,

Our healthcare team is deeply grateful for the extraordinary outpouring of support that continues from all of you. This notice is to help our team manage the FOOD DONATIONS that are welcome, but which need to be managed for safety and efficiency of delivery. For any and all donations of food, please follow the guidelines listed here:

  1. Before donating food, please contact our food services manager, Conor O’Brien at obrienc@whidbeyhealth.org at least one day in advance of delivery.
  2. All donated food must come from a commercial kitchen only. We appreciate our talented home-kitchen cooks and bakers, but we are required to follow state food-handling guidelines for acceptance of food donations. (Please avoid sending food/beverages that require temperature control, such as ice cream, etc.)
  3. Food & Nutrition Personnel will receive the approved donations via our West Wind Cafe Loading Dock doors, and deliver to the designated area as per our catering delivery protocols. Enter through the second driveway at hospital main entrance at 101 N. Main Street, and follow it to the back of the hospital near the courtyard. The loading dock doors are to the right of the courtyard behind the cafe.
  4. On the outside packaging, please include a description of the food items, the amount being delivered and contact information of the restaurant making the delivery.
  5. The items will be delivered on a rotating basis to each of the departments in the hospital.
  6. Our West Wind Café is also available to deliver food to our team. See its catering menu at West Wind Cafe catering menu.
  7. Finally, thank you for your deep kindness in wanting to support our healthcare team. It is very much appreciated by all of us.

Dear WhidbeyHealth Team,

Your generous support of our local restaurants during this COVID-19 outbreak is greatly appreciated by our community. Thank you for wanting to order food from local businesses while at the hospital. However, we can no longer allow food deliveries to come through the hospital’s front entrance due to the hazards of accepting food deliveries, while also managing the screening process for our patients and keeping everyone safe and healthy. For any and all orders of food delivered to the hospital for our employees, please follow the guidelines listed here:

  1. Before ordering food, please contact our food services manager, Conor O’Brien at obrienc@whidbeyhealth.org at least one day in advance of delivery.
  2. Food & Nutrition Personnel will receive the approved donations via our West Wind Cafe Loading Dock doors, and deliver to the designated area as per our catering delivery protocols. Please direct delivery drivers to enter through the second driveway at hospital main entrance at 101 N. Main Street, and follow it to the back of the hospital near the courtyard. The loading dock doors are to the right of the courtyard behind the cafe.
  3. Please direct the restaurant to label the delivery clearly with the name and department of the person receiving the food.
  4. Thank you for supporting our community restaurants, while also keeping our patients and staff safe.

FAQ about COVID-19 Health Coverage

Below are answers to frequently asked questions about insurance during the Coronavirus pandemic from the Washington State Benefits Exchange. WhidbeyHealth’s certified Financial Advocates and Insurance Verifiers are here to help our community. Call the WhidbeyHealth Financial Advocate for financial assistance help at: 360.678.7601.

Q: I am uninsured, can I get coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder?

A: Yes. You should apply for coverage right away. Washington Healthplanfinder will determine if you qualify for Washington Apple Health coverage, which is available year-round, or qualified health plan coverage, which is available during an open-enrollment period and during the year if you experience a qualifying event.

If you are uninsured and want coverage given the situation with COVID-19, we are here to help. Enroll by May 8 for coverage that begins May 1. Enroll by April 8 for coverage that begins April 1. Contact an Enrollment Center, Navigator or Broker, or our Customer Support Center today.

Q: I recently lost my employer coverage, how quickly do I need to act to get coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder?

A: You have 60 days of your employer coverage end date to enroll in coverage through WAHealthplanfinder.org or WAPlanfinder app. Washington Apple Health coverage is available year round if you qualify.

Reporting loss of coverage: Washington Healthplanfinder will guide you through reporting your change in coverage. This can be done entirely online. You can report your loss of employer coverage in Washington Healthplanfinder up to two months before it ends. This will help you avoid gaps in coverage.

COBRA: Before enrolling in COBRA, review your coverage options. Washington Healthplanfinder can provide affordable options to maintain coverage. If you enroll in COBRA and your employer stops helping pay for your COBRA premiums, you can report this change and sign up for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder. If you enroll in COBRA and decide to end your COBRA coverage, it is not a change that qualifies you to sign up for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder outside the open enrollment period.

Tip: Use SmartPlanFinder to help choose a plan that covers your existing providers and prescriptions.

Q: I recently lost my job. What are my coverage options?

A: Job loss could make you newly eligible for no cost or low-cost coverage through Washington Apple Health. Report your current income when applying for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.
Note: If you also lost coverage from your employer, this opens a Special Enrollment Period for you to shop for a plan. Plan selection must occur within 60 days from the qualifying life event.

Reporting unemployment benefits: Report weekly Employment Security benefits to receive accurate eligibility for no cost or low cost coverage.

Coverage Start Date: Washington Apple Health coverage starts the month you enroll and can typically be used within 24-hours to obtain care or prescriptions.

Tip: Washington Apple Health can help with recent unpaid medical bills up to 3 months old.

Q: I am employed, but my work hours have been cut back. What are my coverage options?

A: A reduction of work hours could make you newly eligible for no cost or low-cost coverage through Washington Apple Health. Report your current income when applying for coverage through WAHealthplanfinder.org or WAPlanfinder mobile app.

No coverage: If you are uninsured and would like coverage given the situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) contact us as soon as possible. If you qualify for Washington Apple Health, that coverage will begin immediately. If you qualify for qualified health plan coverage, you must enroll in a qualified health plan before May 8 can for coverage that begins May 1. If you enroll before April 8, you can get coverage that begins April 1.

Reporting unemployment benefits: Report wages (reduced level) and weekly Employment Security benefits to receive accurate eligibility for no cost or low-cost coverage.

Have employer coverage: Even if you have employer coverage, you may be eligible for no cost or low-cost coverage through Washington Apple Health. This program coordinates with your employer to help lower your costs.

Have Qualified Health Plan coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder: Report the change of income, you may qualify for extra financial help.

Tip: Update your Washington Healthplanfinder account as your circumstances change (example: your household income has changed).

Q: I am furloughed/on unpaid leave/on Paid Family Medical Leave. What are my coverage options?

A: Washington Apple Health can be a temporary coverage option until you return to work. Apply for coverage through Washington Healthplanfinder.

Reporting income when on unpaid leave: Enter your employer information and enter an income amount of “$0.01” (if you enter $0 as your income you will not be able to proceed).

Reporting Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML): Report your paid leave amount as ‘other income’.

Employer Coverage: Even if you have employer coverage, you may be eligible for no cost or low-cost coverage through Washington Apple Health. This program coordinates with your employer to help lower your costs.

Tip: Update your Washington Healthplanfinder account at as your circumstances change (example: you return to work).