Sen. Tom Carper, on Nov. 16, joined La Red Health Center officials, marketplace navigators and marketplace enrollees to highlight the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment season and to announce nearly $4 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to La Red Health Center.

Open enrollment on the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace is happening at healthcare.gov until Dec. 15, and Delawareans are urged to sign up early for a health insurance plan. Free, in-person enrollment assistance is available at La Red Health Center, 21444 Carmean Way, Georgetown, and locations throughout the state, which can be located on choosehealthde.com. For 2019, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware will offer a total of eight plans for individuals — one gold plan, three silver, two bronze, one catastrophic and one platinum. Two insurers — Delta Dental of Delaware Inc. and Dominion Dental Services Inc. — will offer a collective 11 stand-alone dental plans on the Marketplace.

Sens. Carper and Chris Coons, along with Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester also announced two grant awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to La Red Health Center. A grant award for $3.5 million will go to support La Red’s operations in 2019 and $289,000 will go to help treat substance abuse patients.

“Our Federally Qualified Health Centers like La Red reach out to those living in underserved communities and provide them with a health care home. FQHC’s also are vital in getting people a health care plan that fits their needs and budget, and I appreciate all that navigators here and throughout our state are doing to help ensure that Delawareans are covered during Open Enrollment,” said Carper. “This nearly $4 million in federal funding will enable La Red to continue providing life-saving services to patients in Sussex County and helping residents pick the health care coverage that works for them. These health centers are also increasingly becoming the first line of defense in combatting our nation’s deadly opioid epidemic, and part of the funding we are announcing today will go toward treating Sussex residents who are battling addiction.”

“During Open Enrollment, Delawareans have an opportunity to visit healthcare.gov and find the plan that best meets the health care needs of themselves and their families,” said Coons. “I am grateful to organizations like La Red Health Center, who play a critical role in helping people throughout our state choose between different levels of coverage and plans. Their leadership is critical in getting Delawareans of all ages, backgrounds, and health statuses covered. These grants will help advance the important work La Red is doing in Sussex County to improve access to quality care, including supporting their efforts to curb the devastating opioid epidemic in Delaware.”

“Since La Red Health Center’s founding as a 24-hour telephone hotline to the full-service community health center it is today, their mission has always been focused on accessible and quality patient-centered care and life-saving services for every member of the community. That’s never changed,” said Blunt Rochester. “These grants from the Department of Health and Human Services will assist La Red in its ongoing efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and meet the healthcare needs of all Sussex County residents, regardless of their financial or insurance situation. La Red’s commitment to our state and network of care is invaluable. I will continue to fight for robust federal funding, so La Red can provide high-quality patient care across Southern Delaware for many years to come.”

“Through the open enrollment process, La Red Health Center continues to see a significant amount of new enrollees sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act,” said Brian Olson, CEO of La Red Health Center. “People who have never had health insurance are signing up, and in many cases, they have been able to get health care for existing health issues that were never previously diagnosed or treated.”