U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced on Wednesday $150 million in grants to federally-qualified community health clinics nationwide to enroll the uninsured in health plans mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In California, 125 community health clinics that provide primary care at 1,221 sites in the state will receive $21.9 million to help sign up the uninsured for health insurance through the state-run marketplace, Covered California, and through Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program for the poor.
The infusion of grant money will be used, in part, to hire more than 400 people to assist enrollment efforts in the Golden State.
The ACA, President Obama's federal health care law, requires nearly every American to have health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014 or to pay a penalty, which starts out small, then grows over time.
The state's community clinics serve more than three million Californians, more than 40 percent of whom are uninsured, according to HHS.
UPDATE 12:54 PM: This story was updated to reflect a correction in number of California health clinics that received grants from 127 originally reported by HHS to the correct number, 125 clinics.