Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a $150 million initiative aimed at helping community health centers enroll uninsured patients in the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges, which open for enrollment on October 1, 2013.
Under the initiative, each state will receive a set amount of funding based on its number of community health centers and the state’s proportion of uninsured patients. California will receive the most funding, at about $22 million, while North Dakota will receive $313,467.
The funds will provide each center a base of approximately $50,000 to hire and train staff, conduct community outreach efforts and provide in-person assistance to apply for benefits under the law. HHS said it hopes to double the 4,000 community health center employees nationwide who currently are focused on enrollment efforts.
Community health centers have until May 31 to apply for the funding.