Be Well: Beat high winter heating bills and more

Be Well Health Tips - March 11th, 2024

Reading Time: 4 Minute/s

Be Well Health Tips

Be Well: Beat high winter heating bills and more

Posted on March 11th, 2024 - Reading Time: 4 Minute/s

Cold weather brings higher heating and energy bills. Warm shelter is in high demand. Hot, nutritious meals may be harder to come by.

The good news: There’s help for all those everyday needs and more. Below, we have compiled a list of some free support services available to you, right in your community. They can help you stay safe and healthy throughout the winter and beyond.

Heating and utilities

  • If you qualify, the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can keep you warm by helping to pay your home heating bills.
  • Households eligible for LIHEAP may also qualify to have their homes made more energy efficient through the Weatherization Program. Weatherization means low-cost home improvements, like sealing cracks, that could lower your utility bills.
  • Energy bills just too much to manage? Here are some options that will help keep your service turned on: You might also contact your local utility company to see what payment assistance options they offer.
Did you know
Community Health Plan of Washington has a Community Support Services team that connects members with programs and services to help with your everyday needs. The team consists of specialists in housing, wellness and recovery, general health, and community-based services.

Rent, housing, and shelter


Washington State has programs that provide monthly funds for purchasing essential foods.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT): The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as Basic Food in Washington State, provides monthly benefits to people with low incomes to buy food. Each month, SNAP benefits are added to an EBT card that you use like a debit card to purchase food at supermarkets, grocery stores, and other retailers.

To qualify for SNAP benefits, you must meet certain requirements, including income limits. Are you eligible? Try this online benefit estimator.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program provides temporary cash and medical help for needy families and pregnant women who meet the eligibility criteria. You can apply online, by phone at 877-501-2233, or at your local Community Services Office.

Diversion Cash Assistance (DCA): For families who have a short-term need. You can apply online or at your local Community Services Office.

Food Banks: Northwest Harvest and 2nd Harvest both operate and support a network of food banks and meal sites across the state. Check out their websites to find a location near you. Or use the local food bank map from the Washington State Department of Agriculture. Some food banks will even deliver to your door!

Tip: Use the pre-screening tool on the Washington Connection website to see what state assistance you or your family may be eligible for. This includes EBT, cash assistance, Apple Health (Medicaid), TANF, and other state programs.

Did you know
CHPW’s Community Support Services team can help members completing these applications over the telephone or in person.

Warm clothing

Non-profit organizations like Jewish Family ServicesSalvation Army, Washington State Catholic Charities (Catholic Community Services of Western WashingtonCatholic Charities of Central Washington and Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington), and First Five Years & Beyond offer warm clothing. Also check out the map on the One Warm Coat website to see which organizations near you are holding coat drives.

Staying connected

Did you know
CHPW Apple Health members can get a free cellphone plus monthly minutes, data, and unlimited texting. See for more details.

Lastly, make sure you’re prepared for severe winter weather. Review these tips on how to stay safe and stay warm.

If you ever need support, there are people and services in your community ready to help.


Are you a CHPW member and need help with renewing your Apple Health coverage? Call CHPW’s Renewal Team at 1-866-907-1904 (TTY: 711), 8 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday.


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