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LAUSD receives grant to boost health insurance enrollment

8/18/2011, 10:59 a.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.--The Los Angeles Unified School District received a $982,000 federal grant today to boost student enrollment in subsidized health insurance plans ahead of the school year.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $40 million in grants to 39 different state agencies, community health centers, school organizations and non-profits. The department wants the grants to increase student enrollment in Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program by targeting kids that are uninsured or have a history of lapses in coverage.

LAUSD will use the money to add staff and enhance resources at thirteen wellness center complexes. The centers plan to use the district's data to identify students who are eligible for health insurance but not enrolled.

Advisors at the centers will alert the students' families of coverage opportunities and guide them through online applications.

"Keeping Americans healthy at a young age is the right thing to do, and it saves money by avoiding preventable diseases and conditions as they get older," HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement.

Five California applicants, including LAUSD, received grants worth a total of about $4.9 million.