Health Centers Get Boost to Guide Uninsured Americans Toward Affordable Health Coverage

Over 1100 health centers across the country have received funds to enroll uninsured Americans in new health coverage options made available by the ACA, according to the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).

The agency has allocated $150 million in grants to 1,159 health centers to help them with enrollment assistance. Health centers are expected to hire an additional 2,900 outreach and eligibility assistance workers to assist millions nationwide with enrollment into affordable health coverage.

With these awards, which health centers in all 50 states have received, consumers will get help understanding their coverage options through the new health insurance marketplaces, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); determine their eligibility and what financial help they can get; and enroll in new affordable health coverage options.

Health centers have a long history of providing eligibility assistance to patients along with delivering high quality, primary healthcare services in communities across the nation. Today, health centers serve more than 21 million patients annually. These awards, issued by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), complement and align with other federal efforts, such as the CMS-funded Navigator program.

The grants are part of a broader effort to simplify changing health coverage policies. Consumers can access the HealthCare.gov Web site and the 24-hour-a-day consumer call center. These new tools are designed to help Americans understand their coverage options and select the plan that best suits their needs when open enrollment in the new health insurance marketplace begins Oct. 1, 2013, HHS officials say.

Source: HHS , July 10, 2013

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