Consumer Health Coalition-led Consortium Awarded Federal Navigator Funding
Efforts will target over 300,000 uninsured across 27 Counties in Western and Central PA
PITTSBURGH, PA — Today, the federal Department of Health and Human Services announced that Pennsylvania will receive $2,407,734 in funding to provide in-person assistance to individuals and families looking to enroll or renew their health coverage. The second largest grantee in Pennsylvania is Consumer Health Coalition, who will work with a team of community partners, including: The Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) ,Benefits Data Trust (BDT), the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania (HCWP), and Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania (PPWP) to provide one-on-one assistance to undeserved areas in Western and Central PA.
The consortium will use $505,000 in federal funding to target uninsured individuals in the following counties: Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Centre, Clearfield, Cumberland, Dauphin, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntington, Indiana, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Mifflin, Perry, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland, and York.
The 27 counties combined have 467,805 uninsured residents, roughly 39% of the state’s total uninsured. The Consortium will train 60 navigators and plans to reach more than 300,000 Pennsylvanians by working through trusted community institutions like churches, libraries and service providers, and utilizing paid media and social media campaigns. Each partner has well-trained application counselors who conducted outreach and education with residents during the first open enrollment period, particularly in rural and minority communities, enrolling Pennsylvanians in private health plans, Medicaid and CHIP.
Antoinette Kraus, Interim Executive Director of the Consumer Health Coalition, released the following statement in response to today’s funding announcement:
“Consumer Health Coalition has been connecting Pennsylvanians with health coverage for the past 16 years, and we are excited to be in position to reach even more people during this next open enrollment period. Receiving this funding is a recognition of the important work our Consortium partners have done, the trust we’ve built with members of the community, and the effectiveness we’ve had helping individuals and families navigate our health care system.
This funding will enable us to extend our reach into areas that have not gotten the attention and service they deserve, and will allow us to continue our efforts to ensure that every Pennsylvanian has the security and peace of mind that comes with having health insurance.”
About the Consortium Partners:
Consumer Health Coalition is a recognized leader in outreach, education, and enrollment assistance in Southwestern Pennsylvania. CHC brings 16 years of experience in outreach and enrollment with vulnerable populations to the Consortium.
Benefits Data Trust, a nonprofit contact center, with years of experience successfully linking consumers to public benefits, was selected for their phone-based assistance capacity and their data-driven outreach methods. BDT has extensive experience reaching vulnerable consumers in the Central and Western counties through its targeted outreach strategy.
The Hospital Council of Western PA is a trade association of member hospitals that touches all counties in the Consortium’s service area. HCWP has Certified Application Counselors on staff who provide in-person support to consumers, and will work with member hospitals to plan events and conduct education and enrollment.
The Pennsylvania Health Access Network is a statewide coalition of more than 60 organizations representing the faith, legal services, public health, immigrant and disability rights communities. PHAN is a recognized leader in developing innovative outreach strategies and was selected for its reach in Central PA, and its successful history of providing statewide leadership on health policy and enrollment issues.
Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania works to provide comprehensive and complementary health care to those in need and were selected for their success reaching and enrolling women and young adults in health coverage during the first open enrollment period.
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CHC is looking for several interns to conduct community outreach and to help consumers navigate the Health Insurance Marketplace. We are offering students in the Schools of Social Work, Public Health and other related fields the chance to work with uninsured consumers and provide one-on-one counseling assistance and experience with developing community outreach campaigns. Internships are available for class credit or for those hoping to gain experience in the field. Please contact Leslie Bachurski at 412-456-1877 x200 for more information.
Consumer Health Coalition (CHC) is dedicated to “inspiring a consumer movement to advance health and enhance access to quality, affordable health care.” We further our mission by targeting populations that are at-risk for experiencing barriers to good health and health care. This includes people with low incomes, the uninsured and underinsured, people from racial and ethnic backgrounds.
How is Consumer Health Coalition involved with the Affordable Care Act?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is a law which outlines specific standards that all health insurance plans must meet. These standards include: extending insurance coverage for children on a parent’s health plan through the age of 26; requiring insurance companies to explain health coverage in plain language; assuring that preventive services are covered at no cost; and prohibiting insurance companies from denying an individual health insurance coverage because of preexisting medical conditions. All health insurance plans must meet these standards, and individuals can shop for and compare plans side by side using the online Marketplace.
All of this new information can be overwhelming for individuals, but Certified Application Counselors (CACs) and Navigators can help. Consumer Health Coalition staff are certified to guide consumers through the process of evaluating and enrolling in health plans through the Marketplace. We can answer questions about the application process, help consumers understand their eligibility for Premium Tax Credits, and support individuals and families through enrollment in health insurance plans.
What else does Consumer Health Coalition do?
Even if you and your family cannot afford health coverage through the Marketplace, CHC is here to discuss other options such as Medical Assistance, CHIP, and other free or low cost health services. Assistance is provided free of charge, and consumers have the option of calling our Helpline, scheduling individual appointments at our office, or visiting with us at community outreach events. To schedule an appointment, please call 412-456-1877 or check out our calendar of events for an onsite outreach event.