Our Navigator team has been busy, as we are now two thirds of the way through Open Enrollment meaning folks now only have until January 31st to renew or enroll in health coverage. Navigators have worked tirelessly since the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2013 to cut Washington’s uninsured rate by providing direct assistance to individuals who need help enrolling. Their work has paid off, with the statewide rate dropping from 14.3% to a record low of 5.8% in 2015. We’ve seen even more dramatic decreases specific to our own region, largely due to Navigators efforts to be active and out in the community engaging families when they need help. Adams County for example, dropped from 23.1% to just 3.5%.
We have continued to see high demand for health care sign ups despite the percentage of uninsured dwindling. The team is well on their way to signing up over 1,000 people at the Open Enrollment Storefront.
This drop in uninsured rates is by no means the only success Washington state has seen since the passing of the Affordable Care Act in 2013, we’ve also seen:
- 750,000 people gain access to care
- 51,000 health related jobs created in the state, and 1,335 of them in the Better Health Together region in 2015
- Healthcare inflation slowed to a historically low rate of 3%
Better Health Together has been so grateful for these opportunities presented by the ACA to open up access to care for so many of our community members. We continue to watch closely national and state efforts to preserve access to care. To read even more about the impact of the ACA on coverage and economic development, read this recently released report from the Washington State office of Financial Management.