/ Modified nov 4, 2013 2:45 p.m.

Health Centers Enroll 8,000 in First Month of Medicaid Expansion

Arizona officials estimate 300,000 people are eligible for the state’s Medicaid program, known as AHCCCS.

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Enrollment for Arizona’s expanded Medicaid program has started, and the state’s working poor are starting to sign up.

Arizona officials estimate about 300,000 people are eligible for the state’s Medicaid program, known as AHCCCS. That number is higher than previous years because the state expanded the program under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Allen Gjersvig, health care innovation director with the Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers, said since Oct. 1 health centers across the state have enrolled more than 8,000 people for AHCCCS coverage.

“During these first few weeks of October folks that are familiar with AHCCCS, previously on AHCCCS and have lost coverage have shown great interest in coming into community health centers, calling community health centers, as well as some of our other partners, and getting their questions answered and then going through the application process,” Gjersvig said.

Gov. Jan Brewer pushed for the AHCCCS expansion through the legislature earlier this year.

Gjersvig said health centers have personnel who are trained to help people enroll for AHCCCS or help them apply for health coverage through the federally run online marketplace.

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