Wisconsin agencies will be Navigators for Obamacare

On Aug. 15, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced $67 million in grant awards to 105 Navigator grant applicants in the Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplace, the latest in the rollout of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) legislation as the Oct. 1 open enrollment date approaches.

“Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their coverage options in the marketplace,” Sebelius said. “A network of volunteers on the ground in every state – health care providers, business leaders, faith leaders, community groups, advocates and local elected officials – can help spread the word and encourage their neighbors to get enrolled.”

Six organizations in Wisconsin were awarded the grants and will split a total of $1 million to assist residents in connecting with coverage in Wisconsin’s federally run exchange.

In its weekly newsletter, the Wisconsin Hospital Association said that while the funding is more than the originally anticipated $830,000 grants for Wisconsin, “The small increase in actual funding still falls woefully short of what is necessary to fund a robust navigator program.”

The Wisconsin recipients of the Navigator grants are:

Partners for Community Development Inc. ($315,720) for reaching out to Hispanic and Hmong families in Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Ozaukee and Sheboygan Counties.

Northwest Wisconsin Concentrated Employment Program Inc. ($285,035) to provide Marketplace Navigator services at 21 Wisconsin Job Centers with outreach provided at libraries, senior centers and college campuses by existing staff that have experience working with diverse populations.

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc./SeniorLAW ($70,000) to target elderly in Milwaukee.

National Council of Urban Indian Health ($35,000) to promote urban Indian health.

National Healthy Start Association ($191,667) to improve birth outcomes and health disparities.

R&B Receivables Management Corporation DBA R&B Solutions ($104,520) to connect uninsured and underinsured individuals with coverage options to help them afford health care.

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