Genesis Health System, Davenport, IA  

Genesis Health System in Davenport, IA, is hard at work helping uninsured patients enroll in health coverage under the new options available through the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (ACA).

Genesis VNA & Hospice, an affiliate of Genesis Health System, received a $265,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to act as an insurance exchange navigator and help individuals, families and small businesses in Iowa and Illinois search for a health insurance plan. Genesis is using the funding to hire three health insurance navigator positions; staff a call center; inform the public about the program; and, provide translation services for eligible residents.

Genesis is working closely with other agencies and community organizations that have received state or federal grants to assist with enrollment. In addition, the health system and community partners will open an enrollment assistance center on Nov. 1 in downtown Davenport. The center will have computers and health insurance navigators to assist with enrollment.

“Over the coming months, our health insurance navigators will go wherever we can gather folks together who are interested in having health insurance,” said Ken Croken, Genesis vice president of corporate communications. “Our navigators will be in libraries, community centers, churches, homeless shelters, day care centers … really, anywhere there is an identifiable need.’’ The Genesis health insurance navigators may host 200 or more signup events during the next few months.

The health insurance marketplaces went live Oct. 1. Hospitals across the country are participating in efforts to help uninsured patients learn about and apply for coverage and financial assistance through the options made available under the ACA.

Michele Cullen, Genesis VNA’s community health manager, said there are thousands of uninsured individuals in the counties served by Genesis who could potentially begin 2014 with health insurance.

“In just the five counties the navigators will focus on, there are nearly 50,000 uninsured people. We know we won’t reach every one of them, but we would like to help enroll about 11,000 individuals,’’ Cullen said. “We’ll be hosting sign-up events wherever they are needed in Scott, Clinton and Jackson counties in Iowa and Rock Island and Mercer counties in Illinois.’’


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