Washington Apple Health enrollment specialists will help people sign-up for healthcare

PULLMAN, WA - The Washington State Health Care Authority is partnering with community organizations across the state to place enrollment specialists in every county that can help people enroll in Washington Apple Health.

Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains how one specialist is helping people navigate through the enrollment process.

Washington Apple Health is the state's Medicaid program.

"There are well over 800,000 people on Washington Apple Health as of March, so very, very strong numbers," said Washington Health Care Authority Medical Eligibility Determination Services Section Manager Diane Rosado.

The Washington State Health Care Authority expects enrollment numbers to continue to increase. Rosado said they're helping more eligible people get coverage by placing enrollment specialists in every county.

"So that community has a base for connecting with the Health Care Authority, to getting answers to Washington Apple Health, to get assistance with any of their applications with any of their questions," said Rosado.

Sarah Westensee is the enrollment assistance specialist for Whitman County.

"We want to be here to answer questions for the community, rather than letting people sit on hold, and calling Olympia and waiting a long time," said Washington Health Care Authority Medical Assistance Specialist Sarah Westensee.

Westensee said people can call or walk into her office and get help with enrollment for free. She said she'll help determine if you qualify for Medicaid based on household income, and help you apply if you qualify.

"It's a good idea for them to be aware of what benefits are available to them, and what sort of access they do have to healthcare," said Westensee. "It makes them healthier, both financially and physically. And ultimately, it makes our state healthier."

There's an enrollment specialist in Whitman and Asotin County. In Whitman County, Sarah Westensee is located at the Pullman Regional Hospital Patient Financial Services Office at 840 SE Bishop Blvd., Suite 100. In Asotin County, Jennifer Baehmer is at Tri-State Memorial Hospital at 1221 Highland Avenue.