U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Friday, October 10, 2014

New Awards to Support Rural Enrollment in Health Insurance Marketplaces

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, PhD, RN, announced $1.4 million to support  rural health organizations in their efforts  to inform Americans living in rural areas  about benefits available to them under the Affordable Care Act and to help them sign up for health insurance coverage. Non-profit and public entities, including hospitals, health departments, community health centers, and rural health centers in 57 rural communities, will receive up to $25,000 each from the Office of Rural Health Policy, housed within HRSA.

“There are unique challenges in rural areas in getting people signed up for health insurance coverage,” said Administrator Wakefield.  “Issues such as a lack of Internet connectivity or long travel times for those who can assist with enrollment make it especially important that there is a targeted outreach in rural areas.” 

Grantees of the Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program, the Small Health Care Provider Quality Improvement Program, and the Delta States Rural Development Network Program will receive this supplemental funding so that these community providers can help people understand the range of coverage options, eligibility requirements and how to enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace in their States.

Last year, funds designated specifically for outreach and enrollment helped thousands of consumers in rural areas understand their options.  As a result, more than 9,000 of those consumers selected a plan and enrolled, while others learned about Medicaid, employer coverage or other ways to connect with coverage.

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The Health Resources and Services Administration is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. HRSA is the primary Federal agency responsible for improving access to health care services for people who are uninsured, isolated, or medically vulnerable. For more information about HRSA and its programs, visit www.hrsa.gov.