Rhode Island Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse announced Tuesday that Rhode Island would receive a $150,000 federal grant to establish a phone number to help residents get “clear and accurate information” about health care.
The grant comes from the health insurance reform law recently passed by congress.
The grant also helps the state establish a new website and print educational[ materials. Two jobs are also created under the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation for staffers to help educate patients on health insurance options, how to enroll in health insurance, and how to appeal insurer denials.
The employees will be Spanish/English speakers and will hold seminars to raise awareness of health care options.
“This initiative will help Rhode Islanders get the information they need to make well-informed decisions about their health insurance,” Reed said. “It will help consumers understand their options and provide assistance if they run into trouble. ”
“Health insurance reform will benefit hundreds of thousands of Rhode Islanders in the years to come, but it remains a complex piece of legislation,” Whitehouse added. “By helping our state implement reform and answer questions about the law, and helping dispel the falsehoods that have been propagated, this funding will help Rhode Islanders get the most out of this landmark bill.”
The grant is administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).