SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced it is expanding the gateways in Central Valley communities where consumers can get help with enrolling in and maintaining health coverage.
“We know it is important for consumers in the Central Valley to get confidential, one-on-one help from trusted sources in their communities. Partnerships with community-based organizations are instrumental in helping Californians get the support they need when selecting and enrolling in a health insurance plan,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said.
For the upcoming third open enrollment, Covered California announced that it intends to award more than $10 million in grants statewide to Navigators — community-based organizations that provide consumers in-person enrollment assistance, renewal assistance, ongoing support and education on how to get the best value from their health plan.
“This is as close as it gets to having enrollment assistance at your doorstep,” Lee said. “We continue building partnerships across the state by providing new grants to community groups to engage people directly and help them get the coverage and assistance they need.”
The following entities in the Central Valley are among those that have been selected to receive grant awards under the 2015-2016 Navigator Program:
- Clinica Sierra Vista provides in-person enrollment services at more than 26 health centers in Fresno and Kern counties to support the valley’s uninsured mixed-immigrant population. The organization has 44 trained Certified Enrollment Counselors to provide assistance.
- Greenfield Family Resource Center has a proven track record in working with Kern County’s diverse population in collaboration with local school districts, elected officials and other community-based organizations. Its bilingual enrollment staff will reach out to consumers through various community events.
Statewide, selected organizations under the 2015-2016 Navigator Program will receive grants of between $50,000 and $500,000. A full list of grantees and amounts Covered California intends to award is available online at http://hbex.coveredca.com/navigator-program/PDFs/2015-16-Intent-to-Award-List.pdf.
Within the Central Valley, approximately 106,000 consumers are eligible for subsidies to help them pay for coverage.
During open enrollment for 2016, nearly 30,000 Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors and other representatives across California will be available to help consumers apply for health coverage.
Enrolling in person is important to many consumers, and Certified Enrollment Counselors in the Navigator Program play a critical role by providing one-on-one assistance to consumers who need it. During the last open-enrollment period, approximately 70 percent of eligible consumers enrolled or renewed with assistance from Certified Insurance Agents or Certified Enrollment Counselors, including Navigators, or received help by phone from Service Center representatives.
The Navigator Program is a mandatory requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and is funded from revenue generated by Covered California. Organizations were selected through a competitive grant application process.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.