The Redwood Community Health Coalition — the umbrella group for local community health centers — has been chosen to head local outreach for final implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
To accomplish this, the state's health insurance exchange, Covered California, awarded the coalition $830,000 to provide information about the exchange's new health insurance options to uninsured people in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties.
Under President Obama's Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, all Americans will be required to have health care coverage. Subsidized coverage will be available to some and those who cannot afford coverage will likely become covered by the federal government's expanded Medicaid program.
About 110,000 residents in Marin, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties are uninsured and do not qualify for expanded Medicaid, the coalition estimates.
The group, through its network of eight health care centers in Sonoma County, already treats 120,000 patients who receive about 300,000 yearly clinic visits, said Pedro Toledo, a spokesman for the coalition. A little more than 43,000 are uninsured, he said.
"We've been doing outreach and enrollment for the past 13 years and we've enrolled more than 150,000 households into coverage, both public and private," Toledo said. "We have a strong foundation for our outreach already."
Several other organizations, including Catholic Charities of California, California NAACP and California Rural Indian Health, also received similar grants and will be conducting outreach on the North Coast.
Across the state, 48 organizations were granted $37 million to conduct outreach.
The Redwood Community Health Coalition is a regional network of community health centers in Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Yolo counties.