Four North Carolina groups received $3 million in federal grants Thursday to train “navigators” who will assist residents with insurance subsidies, premiums and other issues under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The grants are part of $67 million the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded to 105 applicants nationwide to help with outreach and enrollment under the federal health law.
The biggest grant in North Carolina, nearly $2 million, was awarded to N.C. Community Care Networks, a Raleigh-based statewide consortium of more than 100 community organizations that serve the state.
The others are:
• Randolph Hospital in Asheboro, which will receive $352,320 to serve a three-county area.
• Alcohol/Drug Council of North Carolina, based in Durham, which received a grant of $324,798.
• Mountain Projects, a nonprofit community action agency which will receive $359,750 for navigator services to seven rural counties in western North Carolina, including Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, Graham, Clay and Cherokee.
These organizations are expected to begin signing up residents for subsidized insurance in October, when enrollment for the federal program begins.
In a previous round of grants in July, the federal government awarded $4.1 million to 32 North Carolina community health organizations to train assistants for outreach and enrollment. Charlotte-area clinics and the amounts they received are C.W. Williams Community Health Center, $109,028; Cabarrus Community Health Centers, $92,528; and Gaston Family Health Services, $248,365.
More than a million North Carolina residents who are either uninsured or pay out of pocket for individual policies could sign up for subsidized insurance.
Subsidies, averaging $5,000 per family, will be available to individuals with annual income up to $45,960 a year, and to families of four with household income up to $94,200.
Coverage starts in January, along with penalties for those who are required to sign up but fail to do so. The law exempts people from coverage who are at the bottom of the federal poverty scale.
Navigators will typically get at least 30 hours of training. In addition to navigators, the public will get assistance with navigating the new federal insurance requirement from volunteers, insurance agents and insurance company officials.
For more information: www.HealthCare.gov.
Staff writer Karen Garloch contributed.
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