State Leaders React to $3.3 Million Grant to Expand Access to Health Insurance Enrollment Assistance

Media Contact: Laura Hall, 517-290-3779, halll17@michigan.gov
Consumer Hotline: 877-999-6442, Michigan.gov/DIFScomplaints

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 31, 2021

(LANSING, MICH) Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Director Anita Fox are applauding a new $3.3 million federal grant that will expand access to qualified Navigators who can help uninsured Michiganders sign up for health coverage.

"For some Michiganders, having free, local help from qualified Navigators can be the difference between getting coverage and going without this vital protection," said Governor Whitmer. "I'm thankful that the Biden-Harris administration recognized this need, both in Michigan and nationwide, and has made this important funding available. These grants will have a direct and positive impact on the lives of Michigan residents."

"The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of high quality, affordable health insurance, and we do not want anyone to avoid signing up because they worry that the enrollment process might be difficult," said Director Fox. "By logging on to LocalHelp.HealthCare.gov or by calling 800-318-2596, Michiganders can access free assistance to enroll in a 2022 Marketplace plan, Medicaid, or Michigan's MIChild program."

Health Insurance Navigators offer free, local help to families and individuals so that they can gain access to health coverage options through the Marketplace or through government assistance programs such as Medicaid or the MIChild program. They can assist with enrollment applications and help consumers receive financial assistance, including the recent increased subsidies provided under the American Rescue Plan. With this additional grant funding, more Navigator organizations can provide health care access and assistance to more Michiganders, including those with limited English proficiency, residents of underserved rural areas, and communities of color.

As part of the nationwide 2021 CMS Navigator cooperative agreement, more than $80 million will be granted to 60 Navigator organizations across the country. The awardees include community and consumer-focused non-profits, faith-based organizations, hospitals, trade and professional associations, and tribes or tribal organizations. In Michigan, the following parent organizations are set to receive grants:

  • Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services (ACCESS)
  • Eastern Michigan University
  • Genesee Health Plan Corporation

In total, $3,295,435 has been awarded in Michigan. A variety of subrecipients, representing many different Michigan groups and community relationships, are represented by the parent organizations listed above. Additional information about the groups that have been awarded is available.

Open enrollment will begin on November 1 and Michiganders can obtain coverage by visiting the Health Insurance Marketplace or by calling 800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). Consumers will be able to choose from 175 health plans from 11 different insurers. As always, consumers are encouraged to carefully shop around to find the best plan for themselves, their families, and their budget. Additional information, including links to find free local help from Navigators, is available on the DIFS website or by calling DIFS 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at 877-999-6442.

The mission of the Department is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit Michigan.gov/DIFS or follow the Department on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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