HHS pushes ObamaCare enrollment with new grants


The Obama administration is counting on a strategy of education campaigns and community outreach to ensure people embrace their ObamaCare benefits.

Much attention has focused on the law's "navigators" — people who will help consumers shop for health insurance — but Wednesday's announcement suggests that federal funds will support a range of similar positions.

The grants were distributed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to "complement" the "navigator" program, according to HHS.

“Health centers are excited to help individuals in their communities take advantage of the benefits" under the Affordable Care Act, said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield in a statement.

"Having trained, face-to-face assistance in enrollment from trusted resources at local health centers means that more people will get the help they need."

In a press briefing Wednesday, White House spokesman Jay Carney gave examples of how community health centers will use their funds.

"In Washington state, health centers are coordinating with local schools and libraries to let families know that they may be eligible for new insurance options," Carney said.

"In New Mexico and South Dakota ... health centers will be reaching individuals at summer and fall county fairs and rodeos to make sure they know about and sign up for the opportunities available to them in the new marketplaces." 

—This post was updated at 3:20 p.m.