HHS Will Award $60 Million in Grants to Marketplace Navigators

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will award $60 million in Navigator grants to 90 organizations in states with federally facilitated and state partnership marketplaces.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it will award $60 million in Navigator grants to 90 organizations in states with federally facilitated and state partnership marketplaces.

Navigators are one of the ways in which people shopping for and enrolling in coverage through the health insurance marketplace can get local help. Last year, the government awarded $67 million in Navigator grants to 105 organizations.

A survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation found Navigators and other assisters were responsible for helping approximately 10.6 million consumers apply for coverage during the first open enrollment period, according to the press release. HHS selected Navigators to receive these awards based on their ties with the communities they serve as well as standards such as effectiveness and program integrity.

“In-person assisters have an impact on the lives of so many Americans, helping individuals and families across the country access quality, affordable health coverage,” HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell said in a statement. “We are committed to helping Americans get covered and stay covered with in-person assistance in their own communities.”

Navigators not only help eligible individuals and their families enroll, but they also assist consumers with comparing coverage options and guide them on how to access and use their new coverage.

According to Burwell, the awards provide support preparation and outreach for year 2 by building on lessons learned during the first year of marketplace enrollment in the following ways:

  • Navigator grantees must maintain a physical presence in the service area to provide easy access to assistance.
  • They will be trained on and comply with strict security and privacy standards to ensure consumers’ personally identifiable information is protected.
  • Weekly progress reports to HHS detailing their progress and activities will be required, as well as quarterly and annual reports.
  • Based on feedback from last year, new required training includes a course on advanced marketplace issues and detailed information on topics such as helping college-age students enroll.

The University of South Florida ($5.4 million), United Way of Metropolitan Tarrant County ($4.6 million), and Legal Aid of North Carolina ($2.3 million) were among the largest grant recipients. See the full list.