Representatives of the five organizations chosen to guide residents through the process of buying health insurance through the new federal marketplace or exchanges have less than seven weeks to get ready but vowed to be prepared.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced yesterday that the New Jersey groups would receive $2.02 million, part of $67 million in grants distributed to 105 applicants in states with federal marketplaces or federal-state partnerships. States that are operating their own exchanges are drawing from a larger pool of money under the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
The organizations must be ready to help uninsured residents buy insurance starting October 1, when enrollment begins for coverage that will start on January 1, 2014. The so-called “navigators,” who must undergo training, will help people with applications and take part in outreach and education efforts.
“We are prepared,” said Barbara Scholz of FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties Inc., which received a grant for $137,217. She said her organization already has a program that reaches out to people in need to make sure they’re signed up for programs like the federal food stamp program and utility assistance, as well as disaster assistance in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
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