November 7, 2013
HHS awards Affordable Care Act funds to expand access to care
The U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced $150 million in awards under the Affordable Care Act to support 236 new health center sites across the country. These investments will help care for approximately 1.25 million additional patients.
Community health centers work to improve access to comprehensive, culturally competent, quality primary health care services. Community health centers play an especially important role in delivering health care services in communities with historically high uninsurance rates. Community health centers are also on the front line of helping uninsured residents enroll in new health insurance options available in the Health Insurance Marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act, through expanded access to Medicaid in many states, and new private health insurance options and tax credits.
“We are committed to providing more people across the country with the quality patient-centered care they deserve,” said Secretary Sebelius. “Health centers are key partners in the improving access to quality, affordable health care services for those who need it most. With new, affordable health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act, community health centers are also key partners in helping uninsured residents sign up for health coverage – many of whom have been locked out of the health insurance market for years.”
As community-based and patient-directed organizations, health centers are well positioned to be responsive to the specific health care needs of their community. Through the Affordable Care Act’s commitment to expanding access to high quality health care for all Americans, these grants will support the establishment of new full-time service delivery sites.
Health centers also link individuals to care through outreach and enrollment, assuring that individuals in their communities have the information and assistance they need to enroll in care through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Today, approximately 1,200 health centers operate more than 9,000 service delivery sites that provide care to over 21 million patients in every State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. Since the beginning of 2009, health centers have added 4 million patients and more than 35,000 new full-time positions.
“We are thrilled to be able to provide additional Affordable Care Act resources to health centers to establish new sites,” said the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N. “With these new funds, health centers will provide more individuals and families across the country with access to high quality affordable health care.”
Health Center New Access Point grants, listed by organization and state, are available at