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Utah's work to give more Utahns access to quality, affordable health insurance got a big shot in the arm from the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP), along with its partners, the Association for Utah Community Health (AUCH) and United Way of Salt Lake 2-1-1, were awarded a competitive grant from HHS to be the non-profit, community-based navigator in the state of Utah. The three Utah nonprofits will receive around $406,000, part of Utah’s share of the $54 million made available to fund navigator programs around the country.
"Anyone who has shopped for health insurance knows that it isn’t a simple process," said Jason Cooke, interim executive director of UHPP. "Who wouldn't want a trained guide to help them find and understand their best options? Take Care Utah, the collaboration between UHPP, AUCH, and United Way 2-1-1, will be there from day one to help Utahns bring home the health insurance coverage they need."
The three lead partners will team up with many other organizations around the state to organize and operate a navigator program to enroll Utah’s more than 360,000 uninsured residents in new coverage. Navigators are people trained to help others apply for health insurance and to understand the new options that will be made available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Because health insurance will soon become more accessible and affordable for Utah residents, the navigator program was developed at the community level to help people fill out applications, apply for tax credits, and understand their new benefits.
Take Care Utah's navigators will be ready to help Utahns get covered when the new marketplace opens October 1. "We are looking forward to helping more Utahns find health insurance that fits their budget," said Randal Serr, TCU's director. "We have partnered with some fantastic organizations that enjoy the high level of trust in their communities to get the job done.”