The Illinois Primary Health Care Association was awarded a $3.2 million grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to operate a statewide health insurance navigator program.
Health navigators came about during 2013's Affordable Care Act to assist individuals in navigating health insurance enrollment.
The IPHCA works with community health centers and provides resources to help get people enrolled in a health care plan.
Cyrus Winnett, senior vice president of public policy for the IPHCA, said the organization will work with local health centers and help provide navigators.
"We will be working with all the local health centers and providing them with resources so they can hire and train more navigators," Winnett said.
Winnett said that the most important step in keeping people healthy is making sure they are insured.
"The first and most important step in keeping people healthy is making sure they have access to affordable healthcare," Winnett said.
Ollie Idowu, president and CEO at IPHCA, said the grant is vital for underprivileged communities.
“For too long, vast disparities and inequalities have plagued our healthcare system," Idouwu said. "IPHCA is proud to play an important role in rooting out those deep-seated inequities by connecting individuals with the healthcare they need and deserve, regardless of race, ethnicity, or zip code.”
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Original Author: Andrew Hensel, The Center Square