Health and Human Services awards $2.1 million to state exchange

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded Access Health CT — the state’s health insurance exchange —  a $2.1 million grant to fund Connecticut’s In Person Assistance Program (IPA).  According to a press release issued by Access Health CT, IPA aims 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), the federal health care reform package.  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 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.

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.

Access Health CT (also known as the Exchange) was created by the Connecticut legislature in 2011 and is a quasi-public agency established to satisfy requirements of the federal Affordable Care Act.  Its vision is to provide a simple online shopping and enrollment experience for state residents and small businesses, starting with open enrollment in October 2013.

More information is available at

Amanda Cuda