Kitsap County enrollment private plans offered through
Washington Health Benefit Exchange tapered in January, after a
surge in December.
A total of 3,146 Kitsap residents had signed up for private
insurance through the exchange at the end of January. Enrollment in
expanded Medicaid programs remained high, with 14,534 qualifying
for the first time or renewing enrollment.
The jump in private plan enrollment in December came before the
application deadline for insurance that activated Jan. 1. The next
big deadline is March 31, when open enrollment for private plans
closes. Medicaid enrollment continues year-round.
The exchange announced this week that
more than 100,000 Washington residents had enrolled in private
plans through the
Healthplanfinder website. Another 300,000 Washington residents
have enrolled in Medicaid through the exchange for the first
Exchange staff will be in Kitsap this weekend to promote
Healthplanfinder at the Wild West Shootout
roller derby event.
The full enrollment report from January is embedded below:
An upcoming change in hours at the
Walgreens in Silverdale will result in the loss of the only
24-hour pharmacy west of Puget Sound.
This is a concern for some urgent care and emergency
departments, which often refer patients to the Silverdale Walgreens
Walgreens is making the change because of low demand for
late-night pharmaceutical services. But though their numbers may be
small, the customers who need those services tend to
really need them.
Dr. Bill Morris at Harrison Medical Center offered this as a
Someone arrives at Harrison late in the evening after suffering
a broken ankle in a fall. They’re treated and discharged at 10 p.m.
with a prescription for pain killers.
Typically, the patient’s next stop would be the Silverdale
Walgreens to get the meds they’d need to not suffer through the
night. That option will be gone March 8.
The next closest 24-hour pharmacies, as best as I can tell, are
Ballard (see map) a long haul for someone in pain. Morris said
gone are the days when a physician could send a patient home with
an extra “pill in their pocket” to tide them over until
Harrison is working on a way of providing prescriptions to their
patients after hours. They’ll let us know when a plan is in
Franciscan Health System CEO Joe
announced plans Wednesday to retire in January 2015. Wilczek
has led the Tacoma-based Catholic hospital
group for the past 16 years.
Bremerton’s Harrison Medical Center
affiliated with Franciscan and parent company, Catholic Health
Initiatives, last year.
Franciscan expanded from three to nine hospitals under Wilczek’s
watch and developed a clinic network with more than 100 sites.
Franciscan employs more than 12,000 people and generates annual net
revenue of $1.8 billion, according to the release.
Catholic Health Initiatives will conduct a search for a
replacement this year, with input from its affiliate boards,
including Harrison’s. CHI expects to name a replacement by the end
The heavily-taxed legal marijuana
industry could generate close to $2
billion for the state over the next four years.
Local governments won’t see a dime of pot revenue directly,
beyond what they collect from sales and business tax. That’s
something many local leaders want to see changed.
Mayor Patty Lent of Bremerton and Mayor Tim Matthes of Port
signed a letter to Gov. Jay Inslee and leaders in the
Legislature asking for some revenue to be directed toward local
enforcement. Nearly 100 Washington mayors signed the request,
compiled by the Association of
The mayors argue the burden of enforcing the new marijuana law
will be placed on local governments:
“The majority of marijuana sales and use will occur in our
jurisdictions. This makes us responsible for overseeing permitting,
code enforcement, ensuring money and drugs stay out of
criminal hands, preventing distribution to minors, and addressing
drugged driving and other adverse public health
If the state is relying on local cities to enforce new
marijuana laws, it needs to provide some of the new marijuana tax
revenues to pay for it – this is a matter of common sense and
fairness. It is estimated legalizing marijuana will give the state
significant new annual tax revenue. We’re asking for a portion of
Communities are already feeling the impacts of legalized
marijuana, even before retail operations open this summer which
will dramatically expand access. The state has only 69 liquor
enforcement officers and they will only focus on licensing. All
other oversight and enforcement falls to local
You can read the full letter below: Continue reading
Bainbridge Island is now home to the “World’s Best
Organic Distiller’s Legacy Vodka earned that distinction at the
World Vodka Awards in London Thursday. The vodka beat out more than
1,000 brands from 25 countries, according to a news release.
The selection was made by an independent tasting panel. This is
how judges described Bainbridge’s entry:
This is an excellent spirit that’s well balanced and full of
individual character, great potential for cocktails. It has a
powerful but soft nose with berry fruits and grain coming through.
Rich, creamy, marshmallow flavours develop nicely on the
The Legacy Vodka also won the award for best packaging
Bainbridge Organic Distillers
opened in 2009. The company produces vodka, Doug fir gin and
whiskey in small batches.
The World Vodka Awards are part of the World Drinks Awards,
Emeritus Corp., which
operates senior living communities in Poulsbo and
Harbor, has agreed to a purchase by Tennessee-based Brookdale Senior Living.
The acquisition was announced in
a news release Thursday. The transaction value totals $2.8
billion, including $1.4 billion in Emeritus’ mortgage debt.
According to the release, the acquisition will create a
nationwide senior living network with more than 1,100 facilities in
46 states. The merger of the two companies will likely take place
in late 2014.
We’ll check on what the implications of the purchase for local
Emeritus clients could be. The Tacoma News Tribune has
more details on the acquisition.
With 6,122 residents enrolled in expanded Medicaid programs,
Kitsap County is well ahead of its enrollment goal. The county has
already exceeded its target number by 160 percent, according to a
release from the state Health Care
Kitsap has enrolled a total of 16,406 residents in Medicaid
since the start of the Affordable Care Act rollout in Oct. 1. That
figure includes new and renewing enrollees.
Though open enrollment for private health plans offered through
the state exchange ends March 31, applications for Medicaid are
accepted all year.
The map below compares progress in Medicaid enrollment among
The Westound Expo returns
to the Kitsap
Sun Pavilion at the fairgrounds Thursday, with more than 150
The event features a long list of exhibitors
plus free admission and free food. The expo runs from 2-7 p.m.
The expo is organized by local chambers of
You can click the image to expand the poster.
Roller derby competitors take their share
of lumps and bruises. The rowdy sport also attracts a young
Those elements made roller derby a natural fit for promoting the
Healthplanfinder website, said spokeswoman Bethany Frey.
The health insurance exchange is rolling out a partnership this
month with Kitsap’s Slaughter County
Roller Vixens, along with other roller derby and hockey leagues
across the state. It’s part of an effort to reach the coveted
“It fit in really well with the demographic we’re trying to
reach,” Frey said.
The exchange will have a booth and promotional activities at
Roller Vixens events through the end of March, including the
The deadline for signing up for qualified private plans through
the exchange is March 31.
Meegan Reid photo
Avalara, a Winslow tech
firm providing automated sales tax compliance tools, announced a
$30 million fundraising round last week.
The investments will help the company build its technology and
business Avalara founder and CEO Scott McFarlane said in a news
“Avalara is proud of its growth and excited about completing
this latest financing round,” he said in the release.
Avalara has raised more than $100 million since opening in