New provider picks up where KPS left off for low income

"Starting Monday, 10,000 Kitsap residents and 20,000 other Kitsap Physicians Service customers will be meeting their new insurance provider: Kitsap Community Health Centers.The state Health Care Authority awarded the KPS Healthy Options and Basic Health Plan contracts to Kitsap Community Health Centers after it became clear continuing them would be an onerous burden on KPS. Office of the Insurance Commissioner officials blame underbidding on the two state facilitated plans as a major reason for KPS’ large deficit.The customers to these two plans are low income and working poor in Kitsap County.To smooth the transition, Kitsap Community Health Centers will hold open houses and information nights at three locations.“KPS sent letters out to all of the enrollees, and we think there may be some frustration ... we’re holding these meetings so people can come in and see the clinics they may be using and meet the providers. We can then be able to answer any questions regarding the rollover,” said Kitsap Community Health Centers spokesperson Deborah Horn.“Unfortunately for consumers, the information changes almost on a daily basis,” Horn said.Since the new state contracts pose a substantial jump in enrollment numbers, Horn said Kitsap Community Health Centers are planning to make room.“We are preparing to be able to service these individuals by opening the Port Orchard clinic. It’s a 13 exam room office off of Tremont in the Cedar Heights Professional building. It opens Nov. 2 to be in line with being able to serve those patients who will be looking for providers in the south end,” she said.In particular, Horn said the meetings in the Port Orchard and Bremerton are aimed at facilitating new schedules and plans for Port Orchard and south Bremerton residents who may begin using the new building.Kitsap Community Health Centers are a non-profit providing medical, nutrition and dental services since 1989.The meetings take place:• in Port Orchard from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 8 at 1950 Pottery Ave.• in Poulsbo from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 11 at 19045 Hwy 305, suite 190.• in Bremerton from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 15 at 616 6th St.For more information, call 478-2366."

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