DC commits funds to community organization to drive up health insurance coverage
District of Columbia officials have awarded grants to several community organizations in order to help those without insurance coverage find policies through the District’s health insurance exchanged, called DC Health Link. The exchange is meant to begin open enrollment this year and will do so on schedule barring any significant unforeseeable problems with its structure. Currently, the services available through the exchange are not well known and many consumers that currently have no insurance coverage may miss out on promising coverage opportunities if they are not engaged more directly.
Many people may be unaware of benefits offered through DC Health Link
The health insurance exchange is meant to provide consumers with affordable access to comprehensive coverage plans. Many of the people that do not have insurance coverage currently cannot afford the policies being offered through the private market. These consumers may be eligible for federal subsidies that are meant to offset the overall cost of health insurance plans sold through DC Health Link. District officials have shown concern, however, that many of the people that could benefit from such an opportunity do not even know that it exists.
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$6.4 million provided in grants to community groups
Officials have committed $6.4 million worth of grants to community organizations that will be tasked with hiring 150 insurance experts that will work as health insurance navigators. These navigators are actually a part of the Affordable Care Act itself and exist to help consumers find the best coverage plans that are suitable to their health and financial needs. Nearly 35 organizations have received grants from the District of Columbia to hire and train these navigators, whom can only work with non-profit organization in order to avoid favoritism for certain health insurance policies.
Organization to engage hard-to-reach demographics
Nearly 7% of the population of the District of Columbia is currently uninsured. This means that 42,000 people could benefit from the services offered by the state’s health insurance exchange. Some of the organization receiving the grants from the District will focus on engaging the District’s most difficult to reach demographics. African and Native Americans are two groups that have the lowest health insurance coverage currently.