Kansas health centers get grants to help insurance exchange enrollment

As many as 32 new outreach workers could be hired, feds say

0 | Health Reform, Insurance, Safety Net

— Fourteen Kansas health clinics will divide about $1.6 million in federal grants to help enroll people in coverage through the upcoming health insurance exhange.

Federal officials said the money would be used to hire up to 32 new outreach workers who are expected to help more than 25,000 Kansans enroll in health coverage plans. The health insurance exchange, or marketplace, is scheduled to be operational Oct. 1 with coverage for enrollees effective Jan. 1, 2014.

The marketplaces will be places where persons can access health coverage that has been certified adequate and affordable by the federal government. It also will be where people earning up to 400 percent of federal poverty guidelines can claim subsidies to help them purchase health plans. About 365,000 Kansans currently lack health insurance.

The grants, distributed through the Health Resources and Services Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are part of $150 million being distributed to about 1,200 health centers and safety-net clinics across the nation. Federal officials, said the facilities were chosen because they have histories helping low-income and uninsured people obtain medical care.

“Health centers are excited to help individuals in their communities take advantage of the benefits of new health insurance coverage options that start January 2014,” said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, in a prepared statement. “Having trained, face-to-face assistance in enrollment from trusted resources at local health centers means that more people will get the help they need.”

The selected Kansas health centers collectively offer services at 49 sites.

The awards were:

Wichita

Center for Health and Wellness, $73,355

GraceMed Health Clinic, $216,443

Hunter Health Clinic, $213,198

Topeka

Shawnee County, $89,943

Pittsburg

Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas, $215,024

Hays

First Care Clinic, $82,331

Emporia

Flint Hills Community Health Center, $102,615

Newton

Health Ministries Harvey County, $79,482

Overland Park

Health Partnership Clinic of Johnson County, $109,281

Lawrence

Heartland Medical Clinic, $66,040

Junction City

Konza Prairie Community Mental Health Center, $94,816

Hutchinson

Prairiestar Health Center, $106,069

Salina

Salina Health Education Foundation, $88,040

Garden City

United Methodist Western Kansas Mexican-American Ministries, $97,291



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