HARTFORD, CT - Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded Access Health CT a $2.1 million grant, in response to their detailed proposal submitted in December 2012, to fund Connecticut’s In Person Assistance Program (IPA). The IPA is a key initiative to directly engage, educate and enroll diverse individuals, who are often in underserved parts of the state, in health insurance coverage.
The In Person Assistor Program is closely aligned to the Navigator program, a similar outreach effort required in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It was added to the final blueprints for state exchanges issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, to further strengthen community based outreach efforts by providing additional funding for community level education and enrollment assistance. The program will offer a diverse contingent of well-trained civic, faith-based and community groups to educate residents and small businesses about their health coverage options and enroll them in coverage through Access Health CT. Access Health CT has recently partnered with the Office of the Healthcare Advocate to administer both of these programs on their behalf.
“We are very pleased that HHS has approved our grant, which was given high marks for its innovative approach and high potential impact,” said Kevin Counihan, Chief Executive Officer, Access Health CT. “We look forward to recruiting the best community leaders as In-Person Assisters through a competitive request for proposal process. IPAs will play an important role helping to inform and sign up the uninsured of our state in the communities they live in, and we take that responsibility very seriously.” Access Health CT will be developing a comprehensive program to train and certify individuals performing IPA duties leading to the Exchange’s launch in October 2013.
Given that IPA focused community outreach will touch individuals who are both eligible for tax credits to make commercial insurance products more affordable, but also individuals qualifying for Medicaid, Access Health CT will coordinate an additional $600,000 of the IPA grant with DSS to help assist potential Medicaid recipients.