HHS awards funding to BDT to support minority enrollment in health insurance coverage

On September 11, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS), Office of Minority Health (OMH) announced $3.2 million in grant awards to 13 organizations to help support health coverage enrollment of racial and ethnic minorities. The new Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities (PICC) Initiative will help identify, inform and enroll minority populations in the Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace). Information on financial assistance, education and translation services to support health insurance enrollment is also funded through the PICC grant awards.

Because of the health care law more minorities now have access to affordable, quality health care coverage. However, gaps in health coverage continue to persist among minority populations.

“Racial and ethnic minorities have lower rates of health insurance coverage than the national average and stand to benefit greatly from the Affordable Care Act,” said J. Nadine Gracia, MD, MSCE, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and Director of the Office of Minority Health. “Grantees under the Partnerships to Increase Coverage in Communities Initiative will play a critical role in connecting eligible, underserved minorities to coverage that meets their needs and the needs of their families.”

Programs funded through PICC are intended to increase minority enrollment in health insurance coverage through the Marketplace, Medicaid and CHIP. The PICC Initiative awards will support organizations, partnerships and coalitions in developing culturally competent and linguistically appropriate services designed to reach racial and ethnic minorities and underserved communities.

The PICC Initiative awardees are listed below:

·AltaMed Health Services Corporation, Los Angeles, CA — $249,898

·Benefits Data Trust, Philadelphia, PA — $247,268

·Bexar County Hospital District as University Health System, San Antonio, TX — $236,394

·Chicago Family Health Center, Inc., Chicago, IL — $250,000

·Gateway to Care, Houston, TX — $250,000

·Jessie Trice Community Health Center, Inc., Miami, FL — $250,000

·My Brother’s Keeper, Inc., Ridgeland, MS — $250,000

·National Alliance for Hispanic Health, Washington, DC — $248,731

·National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Little Rock, AR — $250,000

·Neighborcare Health, Seattle, WA — $242,640

·New Hampshire Voices for Health, Concord, NH — $241,166

·The Dannon Project, Birmingham, AL — $250,000

·University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA — $237,816

About the Benefits Data Trust Project:

Benefits Data Trust is funded to implement the “Insuring Shared Prosperity” project that builds upon the city-wide anti-poverty plan, known as Shared Prosperity, developed by Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity. It will use the existing BenePhilly Centers to incorporate Affordable Care Act (ACA) outreach and enrollment activities into the broader plan to address access barriers, as well as health and economic disparities, facing Philadelphia’s most vulnerable residents, most of whom are racial or ethnic minorities and many of whom face significant language barriers.

The goals of the ISP initiative are to (1) increase awareness of the ACA and its mandates, protections, and affordable coverage options and (2) increase enrollment in affordable health coverage through the FFM, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) among racial and ethnic minorities in Philadelphia. Key objectives of the project:

  1. Provide education and outreach services to 10,000 vulnerable Philadelphians

  2. Provide training, technical assistance, and language support services to the BenePhilly Centers and 20 other CBO s to increase capacity to educate consumers about ACA and provide enrollment assistance

  3. Submit applications for health insurance through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or CHIP for 2,500 – 3,000 consumers

  4. Improve coordination between Philadelphia’s social service and benefits access sector and those engaged in ACA outreach and enrollment activities.

Benefits Data Trust will partner with the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment Opportunity (CEO) and Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN) on this effort.