Health

Health Exchange Switching to Direct Premium Payment

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The board that runs Washington's health exchange voted Thursday to change the way it handles premium payments and have customers pay their insurance companies directly. The change puts Washington more in line with the way other…

Fighting Flu During the Holidays

Washington State Dept. of Health Press Release OLYMPIA, WA-Fall and winter usher in holiday travel and gatherings that create an opportunity for flu and other viruses to spread. There's still time to get vaccinated to help avoid getting the flu…

WSU Students Asked to Have Mumps Vaccination

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) -- Washington State University is asking students to make sure their measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations are up to date before they return from the Thanksgiving break. The school issued the advisory Monday in response to an…

New Ad Campaign for Health Exchange

SEATTLE (AP) -- The Washington health exchange has launched a new advertising and outreach campaign, focused on helping people understand the value of insurance. New television ads take a humorous look at the ways people avoid medical bills. One shows…

Washington Hospitals Prepare for Ebola Patients

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- The state Health Department says the risk of Ebola in Washington is low, but eight hospitals are preparing to care for Ebola patients if needed. The hospitals following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines…

Washington State Health Exchange Up and Down

SEATTLE (AP) -- It was a ragged opening weekend for the Washington state health insurance exchange where people buy insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The Healthplanfinder website went down after the open enrollment period began Saturday because of a…

Washington Launches Health Exchange for Businesses

SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington small businesses that want to offer health insurance to their employees can use a new marketplace just opened in the state. More than 20 health plans are available through the business arm of Washington Healthplanfinder. Small…

Testing for Severe Respiratory Illness

SEATTLE (AP) -- Public health officials in King County are investigating whether a cluster of patients at Seattle Children's Hospital have a severe respiratory illness that has sickened hundreds of children nationwide. Health officials said Thursday that additional testing by…

Problems at State Health Exchange Hit 1 out of 5

SEATTLE (AP) -- Officials at the Washington health exchange admitted this week that billing problems have affected about one of every five people who bought health insurance through the exchange. At a board meeting on Thursday, exchange officials said as…

The Need To Keep Up With Immunizations

Immunizations are something that a lot of people think about at this time of the year because immunizations are required for kids who are just starting school. We often forget that many of us will need immunizations later in life.…

Insurance Commissioner Clears 10 Insurers for 2015

SEATTLE (AP) -- People in Washington who buy their own health insurance through the state's health exchange will have more choices next year and will only see a small rate increase. On Wednesday, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner approved…

Special Enrollment Period for Health Exchange

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- People who have had trouble enrolling for insurance or using their benefits because of billing problems with the state's health exchange can try again during a special enrollment period announced by the insurance commissioner's office. The…

Washington Health Exchange Needs 171 More Fixes

SEATTLE (AP) -- Officials at Washington's health exchange say they're making progress on fixing the computer problems that have kept thousands of people from using their new health insurance. At a meeting of the Health Benefit Exchange Board on Thursday,…

Oregon Insurer Can't Deny Tutism Treatment

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- A federal judge in Portland has ruled that a major Oregon health provider cannot deny coverage to autistic children for a specific treatment. Judge Michael H. Simon found Providence Health Plan violated state and federal laws…

Washington Health Exchange Glitches Affect 6,000

SEATTLE (AP) -- At least 6,000 people who bought health insurance through Washington's new exchange are having trouble using that coverage because of computer glitches with the new program. Officials at the exchange are hoping to have all the problems…

Cover Oregon Backup Plans Being Discussed

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon lawmakers are urging state officials to look into backup plans in case Cover Oregon isn't ready to use the federal government's online health insurance enrollment system before the November deadline. Officials reported to a state…

Got Drugs? Police Collecting used Prescriptions

To help prevent the misuse and abuse of prescription medication, the DEA has teamed up with local police departments in its "Got Drugs?" campaign. Anyone with expired, unused, or unwanted medications could drop them off at their local police department…

More tuberculosis cases in Washington state

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- State health officials say tuberculosis cases are on the rise in Washington state after several years of decline.Last year, 209 cases of tuberculosis were reported. That was a 13 percent increase over the 185 cases reported…