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Health centers to get $150 million in exchange grants

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says community health centers around the country will get $150 million in health insurance exchange enrollment assistance grants.

The administration is hoping the community centers will use the grants to help tens of millions of uninsured Americans sign up for health insurance coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is making the concerns to address the concerns of lawmakers and advocacy groups who say many consumers will have a hard time using the exchanges to get health coverage in 2014, when PPACA provisions that create a health insurance tax credit and many new government health insurance programs are supposed to kick in.

Last month, the administration made $54 million available to states and private groups so that they could hire new health insurance “navigators,” or exchange ombudsmen.

The same concept is being applied to the nation’s 1,200 community health centers, which serve about 21 million patients each year, many of them without health insurance.

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