Community groups are eligible for a total of $43 million in outreach grants, according to a plan released Friday by officials at Covered California, the new state's new insurance exchange.
The goal of the outreach effort is for community groups to help get the word out about Covered California and the exchange is willing to pay for that help. About $40 million has been slated for individual coverage outreach, and another $3 million will go to help raise awareness of the Small-business Health Options Program, said Oscar Hidalgo, director of communication and public affairs at the exchange.
"The idea here is to reach out to communities through all kinds of organizations -- community groups, faith-based groups, even city and county governments -- so they can help raise awareness and provide some education on Covered California," Hidalgo said.
"[Community] groups will need to propose in the grant what the target audience is, and how to reach them," he said, "to show a local strategy, so it's the community groups speaking to the consumers."
The exchange has scheduled a webinar Feb. 6 for potential grant applicants. Applications for grant money are due Mar. 4.
"We will award the grants at end of April," Hidalgo said. He added that the exchange may have the flexibility to move even more money over to the grant outreach program, depending on the level of response.
"We want to make sure we hit every target population," Hidalgo said. "Our goal is to make sure we create the proper awareness."