Funds will boost community health centers’ ability to care for additional patients and create jobs
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) along with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced new funds to help more uninsured Marylanders enroll in affordable health insurance coverage made available by the Affordable Care Act. In Maryland an estimated $1,693,076 is available to support 16 community health centers’ ability to hire staff and enroll people in affordable health plans. Almost 300,000 Marylanders get their health care through federally-backed community health centers.
“Community health centers are the backbone to providing quality health care to more than 290,000 Marylanders,” said Senator Cardin, who is a long-time supporter of increased funding for community health centers. “This announcement of almost $1.7 million for Maryland will make it possible for the 16 health centers around our state to reach out to insured Marylanders, making sure they have the health coverage they need to stay healthy.”
“Community health centers provide an important safety net for the people who need it most,” Senator Mikulski said. “This is especially important in these economically-trying times when there is more need and fewer resources. These Affordable Care Act funds will help community health centers keep their doors open to make sure families have access to reliable health care in their own neighborhoods, while at the same time creating and sustaining good-paying jobs.”
With these new funds, Maryland’s community health centers will be able to hire new staff, train existing staff, and conduct community outreach events and other educational activities. Community health centers will help consumers understand their coverage options, determine their eligibility, and enroll in new affordable health insurance options.
Community health center staff will provide unbiased information to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplace, qualified health plans, and Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
This funding opportunity was issued by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and it complements and aligns with other federal efforts, such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-funded Navigator program.
“Health centers have extensive experience providing eligibility assistance to patients, are providing care to 291,579 individuals in Maryland communities, and are well-positioned to support enrollment efforts,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Investing in health centers for outreach and enrollment assistance provides one more way the Obama Administration is helping consumers understand their options and enroll in affordable coverage.”
“Health centers work in communities across the country, giving them a unique opportunity to reach the uninsured in their communities and help connect them with the benefits of health insurance coverage under the health care law,” said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, Ph.D, R.N.
HRSA’s community health center program includes more than 1,200 health centers that operate nearly 9,000 service delivery sites nationwide and serve approximately 21 million patients each year.
To see a list of health centers eligible to apply for this funding in Maryland visit http://www.hrsa.gov/about/news/2013tables/outreachandenrollment/.
For information on applying for this funding opportunity visit http://bphc.hrsa.gov/outreachandenrollment/.
Open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace begins October 1, 2013. To learn more visit http://www.HealthCare.gov/marketplace