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Catholic Health Initiatives Receives Grant to Help More People Enroll in Health Insurance Coverage

Individual attention will help overcome cultural, language barriers for 2016 coverage

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), the nation’s second-largest nonprofit health system, has received a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to help enroll uninsured people in health insurance exchanges and Medicaid for 2016. The six-month grant of almost $463,000 will support one-to-one community outreach efforts to help people understand their options and enroll in coverage.

The grant will benefit CHI regions in five states, including Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas. CHI regional representatives will focus efforts on expanding and enhancing access by addressing cultural and language barriers, logistical challenges and lack of information that have kept people from enrolling in health insurance exchange programs created by the Affordable Care Act.

“This generous grant will allow CHI to be far more effective in identifying and working with individuals in these communities who need this kind of direct assistance to ensure they have health insurance coverage,” said Kevin E. Lofton, CHI’s chief executive officer. “It will go a long way in helping us realize the promise of the Affordable Care Act and expand coverage across the communities we serve.”

Outreach activities will bring information and services directly to people in their communities such as meeting with residents in their homes; placing trained staff at local churches, schools or grocery stores; offering a mobile enrollment site; and coordinating outreach through food banks, shelters and other organizations.

The grant also supports Certified Application Counselor training, increasing the number of qualified navigators who can help people enroll in coverage. In some locations, health coaches and social workers in physician offices will be trained to identify and track people who may need enrollment support.

About Catholic Health Initiatives:Catholic Health Initiatives, a nonprofit, faith-based health system formed in 1996 through the consolidation of four Catholic health systems, expresses its mission each day by creating and nurturing healthy communities in the hundreds of sites across the nation where it provides care. The nation’s second-largest nonprofit health system, Englewood, Colorado-based CHI operates in 19 states and comprises 102 hospitals, including four academic health centers and major teaching hospitals as well as 30 critical-access facilities; community health-services organizations; accredited nursing colleges; home-health agencies; living communities; and other facilities and services that span the inpatient and outpatient continuum of care. In fiscal year 2015, CHI provided almost $970 million in financial assistance and community benefit – an 8% increase over the previous year -- for programs and services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. Financial assistance and community benefit totaled more than $1.6 billion with the inclusion of the unpaid costs of Medicare. The health system, which generated operating revenues of $15.2 billion in fiscal year 2015, has total assets of approximately $23 billion.

This generous grant will allow CHI to be far more effective in identifying and working with individuals in these communities who need this kind of direct assistance to ensure they have health insurance coverage.

- Kevin E. Lofton, CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives

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