Tombigbee Healthcare Authority receives grant

Published 1:57 pm Friday, August 16, 2013

Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that Tombigbee Healthcare Authority, AIDS Alabama, Inc, Samford University, Ascension Health and Catholic Social Services Archdiocese of Alabama have been awarded up to $1,443,986 in Navigator grants.

These critical resources will be used to provide in-person assistance to Alabamians who need additional help in shopping for and enrolling in plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace beginning Oct. 1.

In the 7th Congressional District, AIDS Alabama, Inc, Samford University and Tombigbee Healthcare Authority were granted a combined total of $1,220,530. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, THA is anticipated to receive $392,356 of the allocation. Ascension Health and the Catholic Social Services Archdiocese of Alabama received a total of $223,456 in Navigator grants.

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“It is my hope that these organizations will use these resources to educate and assist uninsured individuals in every community across Alabama on how to shop for and enroll in plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace.” Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell said. “I am proud of the work these organizations do to provide essential primary and preventative health care for the people of Alabama. I am confident these organizations will provide a network of on the ground experts to help educate all Alabamians on how to get enrolled and to find the plan that best fits their healthcare needs.”

In the 7th District, up to 38,000 children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage by health insurers under the new law, Sewell said in the press release.

She added that, in Alabama, about 1.1 million individuals with private insurance can now receive preventative services at no extra cost, and small businesses will now have access to affordable health plans previously only offered to large businesses.

“I am looking forward to Oct. 1 when the largest benefits of the law will be available to consumers through the health insurance marketplaces.” Rep. Sewell concluded, “My office will be working with these organizations, several primary healthcare providers in the rural parts of the 7th District and HHS officials to educate and assist my constituents as the marketplaces open. We must remain committed to building upon the benefits of the ACA by making outreach and education our number one priority in the implementation of this critical legislation.”

THA will place Navigators in 18 counties in the Alabama Delta Region to help consumers understand the new federal Marketplace coverage options and find the most affordable coverage that meets their health care needs.

To achieve this goal, THA will develop a contractual agreement with its existing Delta Rural Access Program (DRAP) partners to expand their program focus. THA and these partnering agencies have been providing the Delta Region counties access to primary and preventive health care services, education and resources for more than nine years through outreach efforts in schools, churches, community centers, homes and other community outlets.

Navigators have a vital role in helping consumers prepare electronic and paper applications to establish eligibility and enroll in coverage through the Marketplaces and potentially qualify for an insurance affordability program. They also provide outreach and education to raise awareness about the Marketplace, and refer consumers to health insurance ombudsman and consumer assistance programs when necessary. Navigators play a role in all types of Marketplaces, are funded through state and federal grant programs, and must complete comprehensive training.