Alaska: Navigator RFP released for federal exchanges


CMS today released their RFP for the navigator program for federally operated exchanges.

$600,000 is allocated to Alaska – part of a $54 million sum total which even supporters of the Affordable Care Act are calling embarrassingly low.

Ron Pollack, executive director of the advocacy group Families USA, and an administration ally, says he is hearing that as little as $40 million to $50 million in federal grants may be available to hire nonprofit groups to work directly with consumers in the states with federally-run marketplaces – a number the administration declined to confirm.

“That’s a pittance compared to what’s needed to make the application process work,” Pollack says. “It doesn’t even scratch the surface” — even in tandem with privately funded efforts.

In Alaska, where HHS estimates the number of uninsured under age 65 equals 139,421, the $600,000 is a total of $4.30 per uninsured.

The 600,000 is the federal minimum allocation to states.  So, states like Delaware with 71,955 estimated uninsured have a total of $8.34 per uninsured citizen.  Larger states like Texas will receive $8,151,185 for their 4,888,650 uninsured.  That equals about $1.67 per uninsured.

Clearly, not all uninsured will be enrolled in the first 12 months.  But, the numbers are what they are.  The rate of uptake does little to change this seemingly clear conclusion:  there isn’t much money in there to get the job done.