Teen Feed to provide access to healthcare for youth in need!

The Washington Health Benefit Exchange today announced the selection of Teen Feed to perform community outreach as part of a broader marketing and communications effort for Washington Healthplanfinder. Washington Healthplanfinder is a new way for people to find, compare and enroll in health insurance in Washington and gain access to free or low-cost health coverage. Teen Feed is one of eight organizations,including local non-profits, community clinics, training programs, faith-based organizations and other community groups, chosen to help educate individuals about new health coverage options through their networks. Teen Feed will share in the close to $700,000 in grant funds being provided by the Exchange to serve homeless and at-risk young people in the King County area.

“We are proud to partner with Teen Feed to reach people where they are,” said Richard Onizuka, CEO for the Washington Health Benefit Exchange. “With their support, we are one step closer to enrolling the 1 million uninsured here in Washington in new health coverage options.” Teen Feed will be responsible for educating residents about Washington Healthplanfinder and connecting them to local resources to sign up for health insurance, such as in-person assisters, local insurance brokers or the toll-free Customer Support Center at 1-855-WAFINDER. Teen Feed’s established networks offer expertise at reaching specific populations across the state who may be difficult to connect with through advertising or media outreach.

Teen Feed’s Tabitha Jensen shared, “Teen Feed strongly feels that addressing inequities that have long existed in the healthcare system is a matter of social justice. For every Washington citizen, regardless of means, affordable healthcare is without question a basic need. We are thrilled to be partnering with the Health Benefit Exchange to provide outreach and enrollment support to newly eligible homeless, food insecure, and at-risk youth and young adults in King County ages 13-25.” Teen Feed will receive a total of $80,000 from the Exchange to enroll homeless and at-risk young people in King County. Washington State received the funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop the outreach program to serve residents in all areas of the state.

Teen Feed provides meals and supportive connections for homeless and at-risk young people ages 13-25 in University District, Auburn and South Seattle. In addition to meeting their immediate physical needs, Teen Feed is excited to be able to add healthcare enrollment to their support coordination offerings which include a consistent mailing address, help obtaining valid state identification, housing referrals and more. Teen Feed will be kicking off healthcare enrollment at a November Needs drive on November 15, 2013 in partnership with KEXP. Information about the November Needs will be released on November 1st.

If you have any questions regrading Teen Feed’s partnership with Washington Health Benefit Exchange, please reach Teen Feed’s Executive Director Tabitha Jensen at tabitha@teenfeed.org or 206.802.7996. For information about the November Needs Drive event, please reach Suzanne Sullivan at suzanne@teenfeed.org or 206.949.1092. To view a list of the community organizations and their award amounts, please visit www.wahbexchange.org. For more information on enrolling in health coverage, please visit www.wahealthplanfinder.org.