Kaiser Family Foundation Survey on Assister Programs Reflects Signs of Progress – and Opportunities for Improvement

Assister programs and brokers play an integral role of navigating consumers through the marketplace enrollment process. Kaiser Family Foundation’s recent survey of these stakeholders indicates these programs will continue to be needed given the knowledge gaps that still exist among consumers and the high proportion of consumers who seek help with renewal. Current legal intern and guest blogger, Emma Chapman (Georgetown JD/MPP, expected 2018), summarizes the main findings of the survey. Continue reading

Updated Navigator Resource Guide

CHIR is pleased to release an updated online Navigator Guide on Private Health Insurance and Health Insurance Marketplaces with searchable frequently asked questions (FAQs) and easy-to-read background information on key health insurance and marketplace issues. With Open Enrollment just a few days away, get your Guide on! Continue reading

CMS Awards $67 Million to Assist Consumers with Accessing Coverage OE3 and Beyond

Last week the federal agency responsible for implementing the Affordable Care Act awarded $67 million in grants to state and local organizations to serve as marketplace navigators. These groups will conduct outreach to consumers and help them enroll in affordable coverage options. Our colleague Tricia Brooks blogs about why navigators are so important and previews some critical future announcements. Continue reading

Our Heartfelt Thanks to Affordable Care Act Navigators and Assisters – and a New Resource

We’ve wrapped up the Affordable Care Act’s second open enrollment season and sign-ups exceeded expectations, in large part thanks to the hard work of navigators and assisters. As part of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded project, navigators in five states send us their toughest and most complicated cases. To help others facing similar issues, we’ve created a new compilation of our most frequently asked questions during open enrollment. The Georgetown technical assistance team shares it here. Continue reading

New Rules Protect Navigators and Certified Application Counselors from Over-Reaching State Laws but Also Impose New Requirements

The Obama Administration has released final rules curtailing state laws that overly restrict the ability of navigators and certified application counselors to effectively enroll people into new coverage options through the health insurance marketplaces. Our Georgetown University Center for Children and Families colleague, Tricia Brooks, provides the overview of the rule and what it means for consumer assisters. Continue reading

Recommendations to Strengthen Navigator and Assister Programs

With the close of open enrollment in the new health insurance Marketplaces, it is a good time not only to applaud the work of the navigators and consumer assisters who helped people gain access to new coverage, but also to reflect on lessons learned and assess what can be done to improve consumer assistance for 2015. Our colleague at Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, Tricia Brooks, does just that in her latest post. Continue reading

HHS Proposes to Preempt Some State Navigator Laws; Lays Out Federal Enforcement Framework

In a proposed regulation released Friday, March 14, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services drew a line in the sand for states with laws restricting the ability of Navigators and consumer assisters to perform the jobs required of them under the ACA. Sabrina Corlette has an overview of the proposed rules and what they mean for Navigators and for states. Continue reading