Insurance exchange navigators get grants to sign up uninsured

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 26, 2013

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More than 100 organizations have received grants from the Dept. of Health and Human Services to help uninsured people buy coverage on new health insurance exchanges.

The Obama administration awarded $67 million to groups that will provide assistance navigating the exchanges. HHS also announced that 100 organizations, including the American Medical Association, have volunteered to provide education about health coverage available through the marketplaces.

“Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their coverage options in the marketplace,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in an Aug. 15 statement. “A network of volunteers on the ground in every state — health care providers, business leaders, faith leaders, community groups, advocates and local elected officials — can help spread the word and encourage their neighbors to get enrolled.”

The Congressional Budget Office projects that 7 million Americans will use federal or state-based exchanges to obtain coverage for 2014. Sixteen states and the District of Columbia will operate their own marketplaces, 19 states will defer to a federal exchange and 15 plan to take a hybrid approach.

The AMA has joined a list of “Champions for Coverage” that will help insurance purchasers understand coverage options. Other organizations on the list include the League of United Latin American Citizens, the NAACP, the National Baptist Convention and the National Partnership for Women and Families.

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