MERCED — Golden Valley Health Centers received $449,874 in funding to provide outreach and eligibility services to patients in Merced and in Stanislaus County, officials said Thursday.
The money is part of the $150 million in grants to 1,159 health centers across the nation to enroll uninsured Americans in new health coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act.
California received $21,931,657 for 125 health centers.
"Investing in health centers means that people in neighborhoods and towns across the country have one more resource to help them understand their insurance options and enroll in affordable coverage," Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services secretary, said in a news release.
With the grants, federal officials said, health centers in all 50 states will be able to help consumers understand their coverage options through the new Health Insurance Marketplace, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
The funding is designed to enable people to determine their eligibility and understand what financial help they can get as they enroll in new health coverage plans, according to the release.
Officials said the grants complement and align with other federal efforts, such as the Navigator program, funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The consumer-focused healthcare.gov website and the 24-hour consumer call center also are available to help Americans prepare for open enrollment and sign up for health coverage, according to the release.
It says the new tools are geared to help people understand their coverage options and select the health plan that best suits their needs when open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace begins Oct. 1.