HHS Awards $67 Million to Navigator Programs
On August 15, 2013, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that $67 million has been awarded to fund Navigators in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces. Navigators will provide consumers with unbiased information regarding health insurance options available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The funds were awarded to 105 agencies throughout the 34 states that are implementing either a Federally-facilitated or State Partnership Marketplace.
Navigators are experts in Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Marketplaces, as well as qualified health plans, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Navigators will be available when open enrollment in the Marketplaces begins October 1, 2013, to ensure customers understand their coverage choices and how to apply for insurance in the Marketplace. All navigators will undergo 20-30 hours of privacy and confidentiality training to become certified prior to working with consumers.
In addition to navigators, consumers will have access to a call center that offers eligibility, enrollment and referral services. Certified Application Counselors will also be available to educate people about health care options and paths to enrollment. Certified Application Counselors play a similar role to Navigators.
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