Congressman Henry Cuellar announces $120,215 grant to Atascosa Health Inc.

Funding will help community health centers in Atascosa, McMullen Counties enroll people in new health coverage options through the Affordable Care Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Henry Cuellar, (DLaredo), announced today a $120,215 grant award for the Atascosa Health Inc. in Pleasanton. Funding will assist local health centers in Texas enroll uninsured individuals and families in new coverage options available through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“These funds will go directly to helping families get health insurance,” said Congressman Cuellar. “It is a simple equation: health insurance means access to affordable care, which results in healthier families. Families who have health insurance are more likely to seek out preventative care, avoiding major health crises. This enrollment program is a crucial first step in reducing the millions of dollars local hospitals and the government spends to cover the uninsured.”

Monty Small, Chief Executive Officer of Atascosa Health Center Inc. stated, “This grant will provide our five-county service area with two full-time outreach and enrollment (O/E) employees. These O/E specialists will serve as our community’s experts to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) through the Federal Marketplace. They will be assisting our uninsured patients with Medicaid, Children Health Insurance Program if qualified. They will be responsible for reaching out to all uninsured individuals and supporting them through the enrollment process from October through March 2014. Fortyseven percent of our patients are uninsured. These funds will be very helpful in addressing our communities’ uninsured population.”

According to the U.S. Census’ report on “Small Area Health Estimates,” Atascosa County has over 10,000 uninsured residents or 26.7 percent of the total county population. McMullen County has over 100 uninsured residents or 21.5 percent of the total county population.

Cuellar concluded, “As many as 45,000 people nationwide die prematurely each year because they lack health insurance. And, the uninsured cost the government over $49 billion each year. This is unacceptable and we need to do better. I encourage the public to take advantage of the resources already available for them to get informed and ensure Americans are preparing to take advantage of new coverage opportunities under the Affordable Care Act.”

If you wish to learn more about the Affordable Care Act, visit www.HealthCare. gov and to learn more about the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Health Center Program, visit index.html.

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