Health exchange awards $37 million in outreach grants

05/15/2013 12:00 AM

05/15/2013 8:01 AM

The UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities and the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency have a million reasons to celebrate after the state agency overseeing a federal health care overhaul Tuesday announced 48 winners of education and outreach grants.

The two Sacramento-area groups were among 16 winners of million-dollar grants by Covered California, which is implementing federally mandated changes to health care by creating an exchange for buying health insurance. The agency cumulatively awarded 48 grants totaling $37 million.

"They're organizations that are connected with and trusted by the communities that we will serve," said Diana Dooley, the state's secretary of Health and Human Services and a member of the Covered California governing board. "They're engaged in social services, they're language assistance groups, they're food and nutrition groups – they're many kinds of groups at the local level."

The goal is to create a statewide community network to promote insurance coverage, answer questions and discuss options about the national health care law that requires nearly every American to buy health insurance or pay a fine. Its central provisions take effect Jan. 1.

Covered California's campaign will target 5.3 million uninsured Californians.

Thirty-seven grants target outreach to Latinos, while 32 focus on African American communities, 24 Caucasian, 20 Asian-Pacific Islander, and 11 Middle Eastern, according to Covered California.

The largest single grant recipient was a nonprofit group at California State University, Los Angeles, University Auxiliary Services, which is charged with reaching students and their families throughout the CSU system.

Other million-dollar grant recipients are the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, California Black Health Network, Community Health Councils, Infoline of San Diego County, John Wesley Community Health Institute, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, Vision y Compromiso, Small Business Majority, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center, the UC Board of Regents, United Ways of California, and two units of Service Employees International Union.

Covered California's grants ranged from $250,000 to $1.25 million. Widely known groups chosen to receive grants included the Los Angeles Unified School District, $990,000; California Council of Churches, $750,000; Planned Parenthood of Mar Monte, $694,000; California NAACP, $600,000; and University of Southern California, $500,000.

The agency has reserved $6 million for additional outreach and education efforts next year.

Call Jim Sanders, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5538. Follow him on Twitter @jwsanders55.


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