REPORT FROM HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES – Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $1,204,918 in grant awards to 14 Hawaii health centers operating 79 sites to enroll the uninsured in new health coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act. In Hawaii, health centers served 144,427 patients last year, 24 percent of whom were uninsured. With these funds, the awardees expect to hire 21 additional workers, who will assist 21,516 Hawaiians with enrollment into affordable health insurance coverage. Across the nation, 1,159 health centers will receive $150 million in grant awards.
“This investment will give Hawaii neighborhoods and towns one more resource to help people understand their insurance options and enroll in affordable coverage,” HHS Secretary Sebelius said.
Health centers have a long history of providing eligibility assistance to patients along with delivering high-quality, primary health care services in communities across the nation.
With these awards, health centers will help consumers understand their coverage options in Hawaii’s new Health Insurance Marketplace – Hawai’i Health Connector. They will also help determine an individual’s eligibility for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program; any financial help they can get; and enroll them in new affordable health coverage options.
The awards, issued by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), complement and align with other federal efforts, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-funded Navigator program.
Today’s announcement is part of the administration’s larger effort to make applying for health coverage as easy as possible. The new, consumer-focusedHealthCare.gov website and the 24-hour-a-day consumer call center are available to help Hawaiians prepare for open enrollment and ultimately sign up for health coverage. These new tools will help Hawaiians understand their coverage options and select the plan that best suits their needs when open enrollment in the Hawai’i Health Connector begins October 1, 2013.
“Hawaii health centers are excited to help individuals in their communities take advantage of the benefits of new health insurance coverage options that start in January, 2014,” said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, Ph.D, R.N. “Having trained, face-to-face assistance in enrollment from trusted resources at local health centers means that more Hawaiians will get the help they need.”
For a list of health centers receiving this funding in all 50 states, visit: http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2013tables/outreachandenrollment/