The federal government is cutting funding for Affordable Care Act (ACA) navigators, individuals or organizations trained to help consumers look for health coverage options through ACA marketplaces. The cuts vary widely by state. Maine is getting an 8% cut, while Indiana will receive the deepest funding cut of any state, 82%.
Navigator organizations reach out to people with lower income and non-English speakers, who may have a harder time signing up for insurance without assistance. They also assist consumers without the computer skills to use Healthcare.gov, who need help with insurance subsidies, or who just do not understand the intricacies of how health insurance works.
However, Health and Human Services officials have questioned whether some navigators are worth the money. In 2017, navigators received over $60 million but were responsible for less than 1% of health insurance enrollees. Seventeen organizations enrolled less than 100 customers, at an average cost of almost $5,000 per enrollee.
The 2018 Open Enrollment Period runs from November 1, 2017 to December 15, 2017. If you need help with your application, you can find healthcare navigators at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/.
Director of Communications
The Fifth Freedom Network
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