(Photo: REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)
The Washington, D.C. Health Benefit Exchange Authority announced this week that Planned Parenthood has been awarded $375,000 to enroll residents in the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. received one of the largest grants among the 35 church, nonprofit and community organizations that will be receiving $6.4 million to temporarily hire 150 people who will receive 30 hours of training on how to sign people up for healthcare or Medicaid through the DC Health Link.
The effort is aimed at homing in on uninsured residents, specifically those who are 35 years old or younger, as well as "hard to reach populations," which they estimate to be a combined total of 42,000 residents.
Newly hired "in-person experts" assigned the task of enrollment will also be required to speak English, Spanish, Amharic, or know American Sign Language.
Diane C. Lewis, the executive board chair of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, asserted in a statement that it's of critical importance that the city has "trained experts available to help ensure those benefits reach the people who need them."
Mila Kofman, executive director of the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, contends that, "The District's low uninsured rate is both great news and a challenge." And noted in her statement that she believes the $6.4 million grant that allows for 150 newly hired and trained "DC Health Link Assisters" will lead to "near universal [healthcare] coverage" or Medicaid enrollment for the entire population of Washington, D.C.
Open enrollment for DC Health Link will start on Oct. 1 and coverage is scheduled to being on Jan. 1, 2014.
According to DC Health Link, "Individuals and families will have until March 31, 2014, to enroll and small businesses will be able to shop for coverage at any time during the year. DC Health Link will also have trained experts available online and on the phone to answer questions and assist with enrollment."
The Christian Post contacted the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority, but did not receive a response from Richard Sorian, communications director for the HBEA, at time of this publication. From 2010 to 2012, Sorian was assistant secretary for Public Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and served as Secretary Kathleen Sebelius' principal advisor regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act, more commenly known as Obamacare.