Affordable Care Act Navigators: Unexpected Success During 2018 Enrollment Season Shouldn’t Obscure Challenges Ahead

Heading into open enrollment for 2018 marketplace coverage, experts predicted far fewer people would sign up for coverage. Despite the obstacles working against a successful open enrollment, sign-ups came close to last year’s tally: federally facilitated marketplaces (FFMs) logged 8.8 million plan selections, including close to 2.5 million new consumers, by the close of open enrollment on December 15th, nearing the 9.2 million plan selection from the previous year in just half the time. CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe and JoAnn Volk take a look at what explains the better-than-expected results. Continue reading

Enrolling in Health Insurance is Complicated. That’s Where Navigators Can Help.

With the close of Open Enrollment for federally run marketplaces last week, preliminary reports suggest this year’s total sign-ups will be fewer than prior years. The Administration also recently released data that calls into question the value of Navigators, noting that they accounted for less than 1 percent of customers who were signed up by federally funded navigator organizations in 2016. CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe explains how these data fail to tell the whole story. 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

Georgetown Navigator Technical Assistance Project: Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Future Enrollment

Georgetown University experts from the Center on Health Insurance Reforms and the Center for Children and Families released this week a report documenting the experiences over the past year working with Navigators, Certified Application Counselors, and others working to enroll consumers in the health insurance marketplaces. JoAnn Volk, Sandy Ahn, Sabrina Corlette and Tricia Brooks share lessons learned and recommendations for future enrollments in a comprehensive report and two video clips. Continue reading

Taking Stock and Taking Steps to Improve Consumer Assistance

A new report released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation chronicles the challenges, innovations and lessons learned about the needs of consumers for assistance in accessing and using health coverage options under the Affordable Care Act. Our partner in our Navigator technical assistance project, the Georgetown Center for Children and Families’ Tricia Brooks, has this overview. 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