$67 Million Awarded to Assist ACA Insurance Exchange Enrollment for 2016

CMS is making available grant funding for 100 organizations to provide enrollment assistance during the third open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act.

CMS is making available grant funding for 100 organizations to provide enrollment assistance during the third open enrollment period under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Organizations located in the 34 states operating either the federally facilitated marketplace or a state partnership marketplace will have the opportunity to receive funding with the objective of assisting consumers looking to sign up for coverage on the ACA’s insurance marketplace.

CMS has announced it has grant awards totaling $67 million to support outreach efforts to connect people with local help for understanding coverage options and financial assistance. These 3-year-long Marketplace Navigator grants are designed to help consumers enroll in the best health plan for them and their family based on budget and needs.

“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,” Kevin Counihan, chief executive officer of the health insurance marketplaces, said in a statement. "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."

Navigators and assisters can provide consumers with in-person help about the plans on HealthCare.gov, as well as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

This group of funding will expand access to more counties in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Montana, New Jersey, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. Of the 100 organizations receiving grants, 67 are returning grantees. While the grants are 3 years long, CMS assesses performance each year.

During the 2015 open enrollment, which ran from November 2014 to February 2014, more than 11 million individuals were estimated to have enrolled in the insurance marketplaces. Open enrollment for 2016 begins on November 1, 2015, and ends on January 31, 2016.