CMS: Admin Quadruples Healthcare Navigators Ahead of 2022 Open Enrollment Period

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via CMS:

The Biden-Harris Administration is expanding the number of Navigator organizations to help people enroll in coverage through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 30 states with a Federally-Facilitated Marketplace. Through $80 million in grant awards for the 2022 plan year, 60 Navigator awardee organizations will be able to train and certify more than 1,500 Navigators to help uninsured consumers find affordable and comprehensive health coverage.

The Navigator awardees include community and consumer-focused non-profits, faith-based organizations, hospitals, trade and professional associations, and tribes or tribal organizations. Navigators help families and other underserved communities gain access to health coverage options through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or CHIP. They can assist with enrollment applications and help consumers receive financial assistance through With the additional funding, more Navigator organizations can provide assistance to people with limited English proficiency in multiple languages. They can also provide more assistance to rural areas and communities of color.

“Our local partners are crucial in helping people get covered. By expanding our pool of Navigators, we will reach more underserved communities, and grow our network of trusted experts who can help people across the country navigate their health care options,” said U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra. “Thanks to President Biden, health care is more affordable than ever on – and with this historic investment, we’ll be making it even easier for people to enroll in coverage through the Marketplace, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.” 

“Local health coverage experts have worked hard to build relationships and trust in the communities in which they serve. These Navigators consistently help consumers understand their options, helping with potential language and other barriers, so they can find health coverage that best fits their needs,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “With this additional grant funding, even more Navigators will be able to provide comprehensive assistance through customized educational and outreach activities, especially to underserved communities.”

The 2021 Navigator awardees will focus on outreach to particularly underserved communities. Awardees will focus on outreach to people who identify as racial and ethnic minorities, people in rural communities, the LGBTQ+ community, American Indians and Alaska Natives, refugee and immigrant communities, low-income families, pregnant women and new mothers, people with transportation or language barriers or lacking internet access, veterans, and small business owners.

The 2021 Navigator awards are for a 36-month period of performance, funded in 12-month increments known as budget periods. This multi-year funding structure is designed to provide greater consistency for Navigator awardee organizations, reducing yearly start-up time and allowing more efficient use of grant funds.

Navigator grant applicants were asked to detail their outreach and enrollment efforts to the underserved or vulnerable population(s), while still assisting other consumers. The 2021 Navigator awardees must comply with the terms and conditions of the award, including submission of regular reports to CMS documenting their progress and activities. CMS will work closely with the awardees to ensure they are meeting these goals.

Here's the full list of federal navigator grantees (there's 36 states currently hosted via HealthCare.Gov, but 3 of them are scheduled to move to their own state-based exchanges this fall (Kentucky, which is re-launching Kynect; New Mexico, which was supposed to move to their own exchange back in 2015 but never got around to it until now; and Maine, which I knew was planning to move but thought was holding off for another year or so). Another 3 (Arkansas, Oregon and Virginia) are "federally-facilitated state-based exhanges" which basically means they operate their own ACA exchange in other ways (including marketing & navigator budgets), but utilize HealthCare.Gov for their actual enrollment platform. Virginia is making the move to their own platform starting in 2023:

    • AIDS Alabama, Inc.
    • United Way of Anchorage (UWA)
    • Arizona Association of Community Health Centers (AACHC)/Arizona Alliance for Community Health Centers
    • Quality Insights, Inc.
    • Westside Family Healthcare, Inc. (WFH)
    • University of South Florida/Florida Covering Kids & Families (FL-CKF)
    • Urban League of Broward County, Inc.
    • Georgia Association for Primary Health Care, Inc. (GAPHC)
    • Georgia Legal Services Program (Georgia ENROLL)
    • St. Joseph's Mercy Care Services
    • Legal Aid Society Hawaii
    • DeKalb County Health Department
    • Illinois Primary Health Care Association
    • Midwest Asian Health Association (MAHA)
    • Affiliated Service Providers of Indiana, Inc. (ASPIN)
    • Ascension Health Alliance
    • Lifespring, Inc., d.b.a. LifeSpring Health Systems
  • IOWA
    • First Choice Services*
    • Planned Parenthood of The Heartland, Inc.
    • Community Care Network of Kansas (formerly Kansas Assoc. For Medically Underserved)
    • Thrive Allen County (Kansas Cares)
    • Marillac Community Health Centers
    • Southwest Louisiana Area Health Education Center (SWLAHEC)
    • Arab Community Center for Economic & Social Services (ACCESS)
    • Eastern Michigan University
    • Genesee Health Plan Corporation
    • MHM Support Services (Mississippi Health Advocacy Program (MHAP))
    • Oak Hill Regional Community Development Corporation
    • Jefferson Franklin Community Action Corporation
    • Missouri Alliance of Area Agencies on Aging (Ma4)
    • Missouri Coalition for Primary Health Care
    • Swope Health Services
    • Montana Primary Care Association Inc.
    • Health Center Association of Nebraska (HCAN)
    • First Choice Services*
    • Health Market Connect
    • Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc.
    • United Language Group, Inc.
    • Minot State University
  • OHIO
    • Equitas Health
    • Ohio Association of Foodbanks
    • Southeast Community Mental Health Center, Inc.
    • Legal Services of Oklahoma, Inc
    • South Carolina Primary Health Care Association
    • Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas
    • Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board
    • Family & Children’s Service
    • Structured Employment Economic Development Corp (SEEDCO)
    • Bexar County Community Health Collaborative
    • Boat People SOS-Houston, Inc
    • Change HAPPENS!
    • Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living
    • El Centro Del Barrio, d.b.a. CentroMed
    • Foundation Communities, Inc.
    • Light & Salt Association
    • MHP Salud
    • South Plains Community Action Association, Inc. (SPCAA)
    • United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Inc
  • UTAH
    • Southwest Utah Community Health Center, Inc., d.b.a. Family Healthcare (FHC)
    • First Choice Services, Inc.
    • The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
    • Memorial Hospital of Laramie County/Cheyenne Regional