Federal funding of almost $120,000 will pay for educating Brevard residents about the Affordable Care Act and helping them shop for or enroll in plans through the new Health Insurance Marketplace, which opens Oct. 1.
United Way of Brevard received the award in August as part of a $4.2 million grant to University of South Florida, which is working with 11 partners in the state.
In Brevard, the one-year grant will pay for 1.5 positions to organize activities and serve as “navigators,” the federal government’s name for those assigned to provide in-person assistance under ACA. 2-1-1 Brevard will promote Marketplace and “navigator” information in the community.
Many residents are expected to participate in the Marketplace without help, via the website healthcare.gov.
“Based on our successful track record of connecting people to services, the University of South Florida looked to our United Way to help our community navigate the new Health Insurance Marketplace,” said Rob Rains, United Way of Brevard president.
“Through grant dollars, we are able to help uninsured and eligible people find the best option for coverage that fits their individual needs.”
Almost 88,000 or about 15 percent of the county’s residents are uninsured, according to federal estimates. Navigators will provide information on private insurance, as well as public programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
After Oct. 1, navigators will have regular hours at sites throughout the county and participate in special events. At least four enrollment fairs will be scheduled in varied locations.
People can dial 2-1-1 to get information on getting help with enrollment, as 2-1-1 Brevard will share in the grant funding by concentrating on public education and outreach and by providing referrals to helpline callers who may qualify.
“Our core mission is about helping people make connections with resources, and we will do that specifically related to health insurance through this grant,” said Libby Donoghue, 2-1-1 Brevard executive director.
Details on local efforts will be released as they are available. For information about ACA and the Marketplace, visit www.healthcare.gov.