Community health centers in Schenectady and Albany have received federal grants to hire outreach workers who will help with changes prescribed in the Affordable Care Act, U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko announced Wednesday.
Schenectady Family Health Services received $91,527, while the Whitney M. Young Jr. Health Center in Albany was awarded $122,173. The grants will allow the facilities to hire additional outreach and eligibility assistance workers to help enroll the uninsured or alert others to health coverage options offered through the new law.
“Capital Region community health centers have a tremendous record of delivering high-quality primary care services that improve public health and lower the overall cost to patients,” Tonko, D-Amsterdam, said in a statement. “As health care reform continues to be implemented through 2014, we will only see more benefits to New Yorkers who rest at every level of our health care system.”
New York’s 57 health centers served 1.58 million patients last year, according to Tonko. Among those, 23 percent were uninsured.
Tonko said the federal grants will help these centers alert patients to coverage options in the health insurance marketplace — also known as the New York Health Benefit Exchange — when it begins in October. He said they will also help people determine their eligibility for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as any other financial help they can receive for their health care needs.
A new website and 24-hour call center have also been established to help people determine enrollment eligibility. HealthCare.gov will help New Yorkers prepare for open enrollment and ultimately sign up for health coverage, Tonko said.