Covered California awards $37 million in exchange grants

Covered California — the state’s health insurance exchange — announced $37 million in federal funding to organizations to help promote the exchange to uninsured residents.

Efforts to help the uninsured enroll in new coverage options through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have been strong in recent weeks. Last week, the Obama administration announced it would give $150 million to help community health centers provide in-person enrollment assistance to the uninsured across the nation.

Covered California awarded 48 grants totaling $37 million. Grants ranged from $250,000 to $1.25 million.

“We are excited to build on our partnerships with organizations that have trusted relationships in diverse communities throughout the state,” said Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California. “Together, we can significantly strengthen our effort to ensure as many Californians as possible are aware of and are enrolled in the new health insurance options this fall for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014.”

The selected organizations will reach nearly 9 million individuals and more than 200,000 small businesses in California’s 58 counties. Covered California will focus its outreach on 5.3 million Californians in need of individual insurance, about half of whom may be eligible for financial assistance with their premiums, the group said Tuesday.

The Golden State’s Latino community represents the largest group of potentially subsidy eligible — 37 outreach and education grants target the group. Some 32 grants focus on African American communities, 24 Caucasian, 20 Asian-Pacific Islander, and 11 Middle-Eastern, according to Covered California.

The group has an additional $6 million that they are going to use next year for educational and outreach efforts.

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