84% Navigator Funding Cut Means Less Enrollment Help For Young Adults
Washington, DC – Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced $10 million in funding to 39 organizations in the 34 states with federally-facilitated marketplaces for “Navigator” grants. These grants are given to organizations that provide free, in-person health insurance enrollment help to people enrolling through the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
This reflects an 84 percent funding cut over two years for the ACA’s Navigator program, and a decrease from 88 organizations that received funding in 2017.
In response to today’s announcement, Erin Hemlin, Director of Training and Consumer Education for Young Invincibles, issued the following statement:
“Today’s announcement completes the near elimination of the ACA’s Navigator program. The drastic funding reduction from $63 million in 2016 to $10 million in 2018 reflects the administration’s blatant continued disregard for adequate implementation of the ACA, and a total lack of concern for vulnerable young adults and families who rely on fair and impartial guidance when enrolling in health coverage.
Because the administration no longer requires two Navigator programs per state, the number of organizations receiving funding also reduced drastically from 88 organizations to just 39. These changes severely undercut the availability of crucial in-person help, despite its proven effectiveness in helping consumers to enroll successfully. Three states won’t have a single CMS-funded Navigator program, so there could certainly be large areas with no dedicated enrollment assisters for miles, and no help in sight.
Despite these severe cuts, we know that the community-based organizations who are receiving funding will continue their tireless work to help their community. We commend these groups who work every day to help their communities enroll in affordable, comprehensive coverage that will be there for them when they need it.”