Five New Jersey organizations will share about $2 million of federal money to help with enrollment in insurance exchanges under the new health care law, the U.S. government said today.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said a total of $67 million in Obamacare funding was awarded 105 "Navigators" across the country.
Navigators are supposed to help uninsured individuals sign up for the health care exchanges when enrollment begins Oct. 1. They are available to walk people through the process of picking and applying for a plan as well as explaining the law's new rules and mandates, and where residents can apply for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
In New Jersey, four companies — Aetna, AmeriHealth, Horizon and Health Republic Insurance of New Jersey — have applied to sell health insurance on the exchange.
“Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their coverage options in the Marketplace,” Sebelius said. “A network of volunteers on the ground in every state – health care providers, business leaders, faith leaders, community groups, advocates, and local elected officials – can help spread the word and encourage their neighbors to get enrolled.”
This money is an addition to the $3.4 million 20 New Jersey health centers were awarded in July. That money is meant to hire 69 employees who will also help state residents navigate the new exchanges, a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act.
"Today's announcement is another step forward in implementing the Affordable Care Act and ensuring that New Jerseyans will be able to access high quality, affordable health coverage in the marketplace starting in October," U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said. "These five organizations will help provide individuals and families throughout our state with unbiased, clear information – not only about the marketplace plans, but also their Medicaid and CHIP options."
The Navigators awarded grants in New Jersey are:
• Center For Family Services Inc.: $677,797
The nonprofit human services agency will cover seven southern counties — Camden, Burlington, Gloucester, Salem, Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland.