Eastern Michigan University professor Tsu-Yin Wu awarded Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services grant to improve health insurance disparities among racial and minority groups
Award will assist underserved communities in Michigan with health coverage
YPSILANTI, Mich., Dec. 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern Michigan University professor Tsu-Yin Wu has received a federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Navigator cooperative agreement award of nearly $800,000. The funding will help Wu lead a broad effort to assist the uninsured and other underserved communities in Calhoun, Kent, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties in Michigan.
Wu, professor of nursing at Eastern’s College of Health and Human Services, will serve as a CMS navigator on a cooperative agreement with the Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM). Navigators help consumers prepare applications to establish eligibility, enroll in coverage, and qualify for insurance affordability programs.
Navigators are funded through federal grants and must complete comprehensive federal Navigator training, criminal background checks, and state training and registration (when applicable) prior to assisting consumers. Wu will also participate in connecting communities that historically have experienced lower access to health coverage and more significant disparities in health outcomes to health coverage.
The 2021-2024 Navigator Cooperative Agreement awards were provided to organizations for a 36-month period of performance, which runs through August 26, 2024. The award totals $794,730 annually for three years and is the only grant of its kind to a university in Michigan this year.
As a navigator awardee, Wu’s bilingual navigator team has been and continues to assist any consumer seeking assistance, even if that consumer is not a member of the community or group the awardee indicated in its application that it will target. Organizations that are under contract with the awardee to provide navigator duties include:
- Community- and faith-based organizations (churches, temples, mosques, etc.)
- Small businesses
- Health systems
- Michigan Asian Pacific Americans Affairs Commission
- Community centers (i.e., Chinese Community Center in Madison Heights, Philippine American Community Center of Michigan, and Korean American Cultural Center in Southfield)
- Michigan Asian Pacific Americans Legislative Caucus
Navigators are essential in connecting communities that historically have experienced lower access to health coverage and more significant disparities in health outcomes to health coverage. Wu will assist underserved groups, including racial and minority groups of Asian Pacific Americans and refugees, pregnant women, new mothers, women with children, and low-income and Medicaid-eligible consumers who are not enrolled in coverage despite being eligible for Medicaid.
“It has been such a pleasure to represent Eastern Michigan University and the contribution to helping underserved communities get the health care and assistance they need,” said Wu. “The process to obtain the funding was not easy, but helping many families in need will be much easier,” she added.
As part of the national Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Navigator cooperative agreement, first established in 2021, more than $98 million will be granted this year to community and consumer-focused non-profits, faith-based organizations, hospitals, trade and professional associations, and tribes or tribal organizations. Eastern is one of 59 navigator organizations across the country.
To learn more about the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Navigator Cooperative Agreement, email email@example.com. For information about health insurance, visit Michigan.gov/HealthInsurance or contact DIFS at 877-999-6442, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
About Eastern Michigan University
Founded in 1849, Eastern is the second oldest public university in Michigan. It currently serves more than 14,000 students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, specialist, doctoral and certificate degrees in the arts, sciences and professions. In all, more than 300 majors, minors and concentrations are delivered through the University’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering and Technology; Health and Human Services; and its graduate school. National publications regularly recognize EMU for its excellence, diversity, and commitment to applied education. Visit the University’s rankings and points of pride websites to learn more. For more information about Eastern Michigan University, visit the University’s website. To stay up to date on University news, activities and announcements, visit EMU Today.
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SOURCE Eastern Michigan University