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Gazette Premium Content Peak Vista gets new grant for health insurance marketplace guides

photo - Peak Vista's location off Academy Boulevard near Village Road will be able to hire six new providers after being awarded a $758,333 grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. + caption
Peak Vista's location off Academy Boulevard near Village Road will be able to hire six new providers after being awarded a $758,333 grant by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
By Jakob Rodgers Updated: December 13, 2013 at 7:49 pm

Peak Vista Community Health Centers received another federal grant this week to help sustain its network of experts trained to help people navigate the state's health insurance marketplace.

The nonprofit received $25,000 from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, which targets the administrative costs of helping people enroll in health insurance coverage.

Seventeen similar community health centers cross the state also received grants this week, with a total of $425,000.

The appointment books for Peak Vista's guides have filled up fast.

From Oct. 1 through Dec. 6, 3,331 people received help in trying to enroll in Medicaid, said Susan Gomez, the organization's director of client services.

Another 661 people visited the organization for help in enrolling in health insurance through the state's new health care marketplace, Connect for Health Colorado. Appointments are being made as far ahead as late January.

The organization was among several in the Pikes Peak region to receive funding to hire health coverage guides - marketplace experts tasked with offering unbiased help in navigating the exchange's website.

While Peak Vista hired 18 guides, most of its regular enrollment staff - numbering more than 50 people - also have been trained to help enroll people navigate on the website, along with applying for Medicaid, Gomez said.

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