October 1, 2014
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Cassie McQuitty, Senior Vice President
A statewide consortium led by United Way of Tarrant County has received a $4,608,000 grant to continue a network of Navigators who explain the Health Insurance Marketplace coverage options available to eligible, uninsured residents throughout Texas. The award supports enrollment and outreach activities in year two of the Marketplace, which begins Nov. 15 and extends through Sept. 7, 2015.
The grant is a portion of $60 million in Navigator awards provided to 90 grant applicants nationwide, announced by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell on Sept. 8. The CHIMES (Consumer Health Insurance Marketplace Enrollment Services) Consortium led by United Way of Tarrant County received the second-largest grant, behind a $5.38 million grant to the University of South Florida. Last year, the CHIMES Consortium received the largest grant, which totaled $5,889,181.
United Way of Tarrant County acts as the CHIMES Consortium project manager and fiscal agent. Each of the 15 CHIMES Consortium member organizations will cover a region of the Consortium’s territory. They will work in 208 of Texas’ 254 counties, especially focusing on helping families with children, legal immigrants, individuals who lack English proficiency, people with disabilities and young adults. The work will be done by 15 Lead Navigators and a minimum of 70 Navigators, with the assistance of more than 500 organizations, such as government entities, school districts, libraries, social service organizations and corporations. Navigators will spread the word about the Health Insurance Marketplace by making presentations at health fairs, community and workplace seminars, civic group meetings and other venues.
The CHIMES Consortium’s goal is to reach a half million eligible consumers who are inaccessible via traditional outreach channels, and to provide 38,184 instances of personal assistance for individuals and families who need one-on-one, in-person assistance with understanding, accessing and enrolling in the Marketplace. When people seek assistance with enrollment over the phone, they will be referred to the national Marketplace call center.
Members of the CHIMES Consortium in 2014 are:
- Brazos Valley Council of Governments
- Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living
- Community Council of Greater Dallas
- Disability Connections Resource Center
- Foundation Communities Inc./United Way for Greater Austin
- Heart of Central Texas Independent Living Center, Inc.
- Panhandle Community Services
- Project Amistad
- South Plains Community Action Association
- South Texas Development Council
- Special Health Resources for Texas, Inc.
- The Medical Team, Inc.
- United Way of Central Texas
- United Way of Tarrant County
- Valley Association for Independent Living
Last year, CHIMES Navigators provided outreach and education to more than 777,000 people and held 36,301 face-to-face appointments with eligible, uninsured individuals and families. The Houston Department of Health and Human Services was a partner in the CHIMES Consortium last year, but this year has received its own $1.83 million grant to lead the Gulf Coast Health Insurance Marketplace Collaborative, which will provide outreach, education and health insurance enrollment assistance for uninsured Texans in the Houston area. A total of seven grantees will assist with Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment in Texas in the coming year.
According to data from the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services, an estimated 1,707,338 individuals are eligible to enroll for insurance and credits using the Marketplace in the counties covered by CHIMES alone.
Lead Navigators and Navigators receive extensive training related to the Marketplace, insurance basics, privacy and security standards, and other topics, and comply with all federal and state regulations.
The Health Insurance Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act sets limits on the amount that eligible individuals are required to pay for health insurance, based on income level. Federal subsidies create this discount.
The mission of United Way of Tarrant County is to improve lives across our diverse communities by prioritizing needs in education, income and health, forming innovative and effective partnerships with other organizations, and strategically raising and investing resources to make lasting change. For more information, go tounitedwaytarrant.org.
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