Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced Thursday that health centers on the Central Coast have received grants of more than $1 million to help enroll uninsured residents in new health coverage options made available by the Affordable Care Act.

The money will be used to hire outreach and eligibility assistance workers to assist Central Coast residents find and enroll in affordable health coverage that fits their needs.

In the 24th Congressional District, Santa Barbara County received $233,680, the County of Ventura received $98,732, the Clinicas del Camino Real in Ventura received $388,186 and the Community Health Centers of the Central Coast in Nipomo received $294,499. The grant awards are part of $150 million given to 1,159 health centers across the country.

As a result, consumers will have a better understanding of coverage options through the new Health Insurance Marketplace (in California known as “Covered California”), Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Consumers will also receive help determining their eligibility for tax credits to make their coverage more affordable.

“Managing the complexities of health insurance coverage can be complicated, but these grants will provide more support to make the process for applying for health coverage easier and simpler,” Capps said. “The money will go a long way toward ensuring that our residents have access to affordable, quality health insurance.”

The open enrollment season opens on Oct. 1.

Click here for more information on the Affordable Care Act. Click here to learn more about Covered California.

— Chris Meagher is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.