The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will give federal grants to community-based organizations that help enroll communities of color into new insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. the health care reform law, or ACA), according to a Families USA statement. So far, nearly $7 million has been given to community health centers in 34 states to begin enrolling the nearly 7.9 million minorities who will be eligible for coverage starting January 1, 2014. Families USA, Children’s Health Initiative (CHI) and Michigan Consumers stress the need for “certified application counselors” to help their communities face insurance enrollment challenges. The groups also highlighted other problems to be overcome, such as language barriers, certification requirements, Internet accessibility and issues of trust with local health care providers. The ACA enrollment process begins October 1.

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