CMS awards $67M to help consumers sign-up for affordable coverage
With Marketplace Open Enrollment set to begin on November 1, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today 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.
Kevin Counihan, CEO of the Health Insurance Marketplaces said this of the funding:
“There are a lot of choices when it comes to signing up for health insurance and we want to help make sure consumers feel confident that they’ve picked the right plan…In person assistance from Navigators and assisters has proven to be an incredibly important avenue for consumers to get the right coverage. I’m pleased that Navigators and assisters will be available in even more geographic areas this year.”
Of the Navigator grantees awarded for this three-year cycle, 67 are returning grantees, providing stability and continuity for many consumers who have come to rely on the assistance offered by these Navigator grantees both for enrollment and post-enrollment concerns. While grants could continue for three years, each year, CMS will assess Navigator grantees’ performance for ongoing support.
In addition to Navigators, Marketplaces make other resources available to consumers to help them access Marketplace coverage, such as certified application counselors, non-navigator assistance personnel, and agents and brokers.