The Health Service Research Administration’s Federal Office of Rural Health Policy supports efforts to expand outreach and enrollment of eligible uninsured individuals and families through its Benefits Counseling pilot program. The grant program also provides benefits education and coordination for newly insured individuals and families in rural communities. The Benefits Counseling program funds innovative outreach activities provided through an established consortium of providers, community organizations, and agencies, with the ultimate goal of increasing access to health care for rural residents. Grantees are training certified application counselors and navigators to build local capacity. Additionally, they are adapting existing trainings and resources for the rural context to further build capacity to educate the newly insured on their benefits.
The Georgia Health Policy Center provides technical assistance to Benefits Counseling grantees. Technical assistance focuses on ensuring that outreach, enrollment, and benefits education activities are strategic, effective, and sustainable. Technical assistance advisers also work with grantees as they adapt existing trainings and resources for the rural context. Technical assistance facilitates a learning community for grantees to share resources, best practices, and lessons learned in this emerging field of work.