WASHINGTON — Two groups serving Arkansas were among 105 organizations awarded $67 million in federal grants Thursday to help participants seeking coverage through heath insurances exchanges beginning this fall under the Affordable Care Act.
The Arkansas Navigator Coalition, based at the University of Arkansas, will get $774,745 to reach out to areas of the state with the highest level of uninsured individuals and provide those individuals with help as they shop for insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace when it opens Oct. 1.
The coalition is made up of agencies serving young adults, Latinos, African Americans, the homeless, mentally ill, disabled and poor across Arkansas.
Southern United Neighborhoods will get $270,193 to reach out to areas of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas with high concentrations of low-income uninsured adults. The charity was founded in 2010 to combat poverty, discrimination and community decay, and will use the grant to provide in-person and other assistance to individuals as they seek health coverage.
"Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their coverage options in the Marketplace," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in announcing the grants.
The providers of assistance are called guides in Arkansas.
The state’s 22 two-year colleges are providing training for a little more than 500 guides who are expected to be in place before the Oct. 1 enrollment kickoff. Coverage will begin Jan. 1, when the federal mandate for almost all Americans to have health insurance takes effect under the federal health care reform law.