Group Awarded $2,178,561 to Provide Health Care Enrollment Help
Pittsburgh-based Consumer Health Coalition Leads Five-Partner, Statewide Consortium
SEPT. 2, 2015 (PITTSBURGH) — Led by the Consumer Health Coalition (CHC), a partnership of five nonprofit organizations has been awarded a $2,178,561 grant from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services to provide outreach, education and enrollment assistance to individuals seeking healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
The Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN), Benefits Data Trust (BDT), Multicultural Community Resource Center (MCRC) and Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania (HCWP) join CHC in the partnership, which has statewide reach and will provide enrollment assistance to individuals and families in 36 counties.
Unlike the first two one-year grant periods during which navigator organizations received federal funding to provide education and assistance, this award will cover a three-year period, meaning the CHC consortium will share $726,187 each of the three years.
Last year, CHC also was the lead grantee in a five-partner consortium that was awarded $505,000.
“We are thrilled to be able to continue the critical work of educating and enrolling consumers in healthcare coverage,” said Jason Snyder, executive director of the Consumer Health Coalition. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvanians now have access to healthcare coverage they can afford. It’s our job to ensure they understand their rights and options under the law and find healthcare coverage that works best for them.
“Being awarded the grant for a second year in a row is a testament to the great work of our partnership,” Snyder said. “Each partner has a deep history of connecting with and enrolling hard-to-reach, vulnerable populations and has successfully provided culturally and linguistically appropriate enrollment assistance during the first two open enrollment periods.”
The counties the consortium will cover include Adams, Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Berks, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clearfield, Cumberland, Dauphin, Erie, Fayette, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Huntington, Indiana, Juniata, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Mifflin, Monroe, Northampton, Perry, Schuylkill, Somerset, Washington, Westmoreland, and York.
Combined, these counties have nearly 700,000 uninsured residents, which is approximately 56 percent of the state’s total uninsured population. The Consortium’s target geographic area includes isolated rural counties, as well as population centers that received fewer resources in previous funding periods.
The consortium’s service area also covers nine of the 10 largest cities in Pennsylvania, while also covering significant portions of rural Pennsylvania, where 3.4 million residents (27 percent of the state’s population) live. Diverse ethnic and racial groups, including Latinos, African Americans and immigrants and refugees, are also represented among the counties the consortium will serve.
“We made a strategic decision for this grant application to propose resources in areas that have not received as much attention and service as other areas, whether they be clusters of non-English speaking refugees or populations dispersed across wide-ranging rural areas,” Snyder said. “These areas require experience, expertise and an understanding of and sensitivity toward culture. There’s a level of trust that must be present to successfully serve these areas, and our partners bring that.”
MCRC of Erie, which will receive $51,132 of the annual grant money, is new to the partnership this year. It will serve Erie County in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Refugees, immigrants and Hispanics from Puerto Rico are the fastest growing communities in Erie County, which has more than 24,000 uninsured residents. PHAN, with $249,986 of the grant, will primarily serve Northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. BDT ($233,577) will primarily cover Southcentral Pennsylvania. CHC ($186,492) and HCWP ($5,000) will cover the Southwestern swath of the state.