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DHS Receives Grant to Boost Medical Assistance Enrollment in Underserved Neighborhoods

DENVER – June 10, 2015 – Denver Human Services is working to boost medical assistance enrollment in Denver’s underserved neighborhoods thanks to a $245,200 grant from the Colorado Health Foundation. The grant supports DHS’ SNAP Into Health Initiative which connects people in need of assistance to food, cash and medical benefits right in their own neighborhood. SNAP Into Health also links people to other resources that help support healthy and active living and financial independence. 

As part of the grant, DHS will focus on enrolling an additional 3,500 Denver residents who currently meet the income limits, but are not enrolled in medical assistance. 

“Denver is making great strides in ensuring that all citizens have access to assistance benefits, which is especially important for families struggling to make ends meet,” said DHS Executive Director Penny May. “Without medical coverage, it is very difficult to be self-sufficient, so this initiative will help identify and enroll families and individuals that qualify for medical assistance but, for some reason, are not currently receiving it.”

Through the grant, DHS will also conduct benefits trainings for community partners, collect information on the current barriers to accessing medical and food benefits, and will research the churn rate and fast-track eligibility for medical assistance. These are key issues that have come to the forefront since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

DHS previously identified areas in Denver with a high concentration of residents identified as eligible for food and medical assistance but who are not actively enrolled and receiving a benefit.

DHS and partner organizations will continue to work together to reach these underserved areas to support increased access to medical assistance and to provide wrap-around services such as financial coaching, cooking classes, healthy eating options and easy-to-access benefits kiosks that further help individuals who are receiving assistance benefits toward self-sufficiency. 

More information about this initiative can be found at www.DenverGov.org/SNAPIntoHealth.

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About Denver Human Services
Denver Human Services provides assistance, and protection and prevention services to Denver’s most vulnerable. Assistance programs are provided to eligible Denver residents and include federal food, cash and medical benefits, child care, child support, and energy, rental veterans and burial assistance. Protection and Prevention services are provided via child, youth and adult protection services, along with community focused programming such as homeless services, and substance abuse awareness campaigns. For more information, visit www.denvergov.org/humanservices.