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California health centers receive $21.9 million in grants for Obamacare

City News Service | 7/10/2013, 12:24 p.m.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $21.9 million in grants to 129 California health centers to enroll more than a half-million uninsured people in new health coverage options under the Affordable Care Act, popularly know as Obamacare.

With these funds, the awardees expect to hire 411 additional workers to operate 1,221 sites at which they will assist 575,863 Californians with enrollment into affordable health insurance coverage, Sebelius said in a statement. Across the nation, 1,159 health centers will receive $150 million in grant awards.

“This investment will give California neighborhoods and towns one more resource to help people understand their insurance options and enroll in affordable coverage,” Sebelius said.

Health centers in California served 3.2 million patients last year, 42 percent of them uninsured, Sebelius said, adding that health centers have a long history of providing patients both eligibility assistance and primary health care services.

With these awards, health centers will help consumers understand their coverage options in California’s new Health Insurance Marketplace and assist them in determining their eligibility for Medi-Cal, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, financial assistance programs and new affordable health coverage options, according to the secretary.

A list of the centers slated to receive grants indicated that, in Southern California, 35 are based in Los Angeles County, 10 in San Diego County, three in Orange County and two in Riverside County.