With Marketplace Open Enrollment set to begin on Nov. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have announced grant awards totaling $67 million to support outreach efforts designed to connect people with local help as they seek to understand the coverage options and financial assistance available at HealthCare.gov.
Awarded to 100 organizations located in 34 states that operate Federally Facilitated Marketplaces and State Partnership Marketplaces, the three year-long Marketplace Navigator grants will fuel efforts to help consumers enroll in a health plan that fits their budget and best meets their family’s needs.
Navigators and assisters are trained specialists who provide consumers in their communities with in-person help, answering their questions about their health insurance and financial assistance options and assisting them as they complete their application. Navigators and assisters are knowledgeable about the range of health plans available on HealthCare.gov as well as other public health insurance programs offered in their state, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The navigator awards will allow organizations to work with consumers for the next three years.
This year’s Navigator grantees will expand access to local help in many states. In Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, more counties will be covered by Navigator entities during the Marketplace’s third open enrollment period than during the second open enrollment. In West Virginia alone, an additional 42 counties will be covered, providing improved access across the state. These gains will enable more consumers to get the help they need with enrollment.
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