UnitedHealthcare giving $100,000 in grants to four nonprofits

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Wisconsin is doling out $100,000 in grants to four nonprofits working to improve the lives of those with disabilities.

“UnitedHealthcare’s grants to these four organizations will go a long way toward helping Wisconsin residents receive the support they need to live on their own,” said Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, who was part of a ceremony this week to announce the new grants.

With $25,000 each, the recipients are:

*Independence First, a resource for information about access and disability services. It’s based in the Metro Milwaukee area, and offers over 20 different programs and services to folks in the region. Over half of Independence First’s staff, members and board have disabilities.

The money will help the nonprofit give equipment vouchers to 30 people, as well as spread information about options for independent living.

*Life Navigators, a group founded in 1949 whose mission is to help individuals with developmental and related disabilities and their families.

This nonprofit provides information and life planning services, as well as performing advocacy and outreach — all with a future vision of an inclusive community in which people with disabilities “experience full participation and maximized independence,” according to its website.

The grant will fund the nonprofit’s Intergenerational Family Support Program, providing training for 50 caregivers and 50 financial planners, as well as in-home and telephone intervention services to 40 caretakers and consumers.

*The Arc Wisconsin, a nonprofit which puts on webinars and events, provides training, and advocates against cuts to health and civil rights programs. It dispenses info sheets with talking points so that others can get in touch with legislators and other members of the government.

Funds from UnitedHealthcare will help the nonprofit to train 20 human services staff, who will help educate people on issues of importance to those with disabilities.

*Easterseals Southeast Wisconsin, a group providing services like direct care, education and intervention to about 10,000 individuals and their families in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Racine and Kenosha Counties.

It’s been around for nearly a century, and played a role advocating for the adoption of the American Disabilities Act, which was passed in 1990. The money will let Easterseals administer training and employment services like job shadowing and job coaching to 350 people.

“Many people with disabilities in Wisconsin are able to live independently and work thanks to organizations such as the four being recognized with grants from UnitedHealthcare,” Kleefisch said.

As a part of UnitedHealth Group — a Fortune 50 health company — UnitedHealthcare had offered plans on the Healthcare.gov individual exchange in Wisconsin in 2016, but exited the marketplace in 2017.

The insurer currently has over 1.6 million people in Wisconsin enrolled in health plans, with a network of 163 hospitals and 32,000 doctors and care providers in the state.

–By Alex Moe