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Feds Cut Funding for Iowa's ACA Sign-up Groups

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Jennifer Morrow

Organizations that help Iowans sign up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act are dealing with new funding cuts.

Late Wednesday night, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced various grant reductions for ACA navigators. Some cuts are as high as 90 percent.

Genesis Health in the Quad Cities is facing a 90 percent cut to is ACA navigator grant.

Genesis employs one navigator to coordinate and promote insurance enrollment, and they are not sure if that program can continue. Genesis will try to keep working through the upcoming open enrollment period, which starts Nov. 1. 

Visiting Nurse Services is another organization in Iowa that has been receiving federal grants to help people sign up for health insurance.

Jim Knoepfler, Vice President of Administration with Visiting Nurse Services’ parent company, says their navigator grant was cut by about 15 percent.

"But in the grand scheme of things, it was still welcome news to receive the amount that we did," Knoepfler says.

Knoepfler says VNS can continue offering enrollment services in 22 counties in central Iowa, but they will have to find more efficiencies. 

The third group that signs Iowans up for the ACA was not immediately available for comment.