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Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced $67 million in grant awards to 105 grant applicants in federally-facilitated and state partnership marketplaces.
These grantees and their staff, according to an HHS press release, will serve as an in-person resource for Americans who want additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace beginning this fall.
The announcement builds on progress in outreach and education made this summer. Consumers can learn about and enroll in coverage later this fall through HealthCare.gov. HHS launched a 24-hour-a-day consumer call center ready to answer questions in 150 languages. More than 1,200 community health centers across the country are preparing to help enroll uninsured Americans in coverage, and a partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services will help trusted local libraries be a resource for consumers who want information on their options.
In addition, HHS has begun training other individuals who will be providing in-person assistance, such as agents and brokers and certified application counselors.
Grantees are trained to provide unbiased information in a culturally competent manner to consumers about health insurance, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The grantee funding opportunity announcement was open to eligible private and public groups and people who are self-employed who met certain standards to promote effectiveness, diversity and program integrity.
– From an HHS press release