Arizona Receives Federal Grants For Next Year's Health Care Expansion

August 15, 2013

Some Arizona community groups are getting $2 million to sign up people for health care expansion next year.  The grants will be used to hire staff to add patients to the state’s Medicaid system and help others purchase insurance under the new federal health care act. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius announced the grants that will be used to recruit so-called health care “navigators."    

“These navigators will help consumers apply for coverage, answer questions about coverage options and help them make a decision about which health care option is best for them,” Sebelius said.

Navigators will be hired in Arizona before the online insurance marketplace starts in October.

Allen Gjersvig is with the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers which plans to hire about 50 navigators with its share of grant money. He said about 1 million uninsured Arizonans will benefit from the service. 

"Between Medicaid expansion, AHCCCS expansion and the marketplace, it’s our hope that a very significant percentage of the uninsured will now be able to find affordable coverage that actually meets their needs,” Gjersvig said.

Arizona decided to allow the federal government to facilitate its internet marketplace where consumers can shop for insurance under the Affordable Health Care program.  In June, state lawmakers also approved funding to add thousands of lower-income people to Arizona’s Medicaid rolls next year. 

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