Our offices across the country have been buzzing ever since the Department of Health and Human Services announced it was awarding $67 million in Navigator grants. Many of our partners are among the 100 awardees, and we’re excited to work alongside them as they reach, inform, enroll, and re-enroll Americans in quality, affordable health insurance.
In-person assisters like Navigators are game-changers. The kind of face-to-face, one-on-one help they provide made consumers who saw assisters nearly 60 percent more likely to successfully enroll in 2015. That’s why Navigators — and assisters of all stripes — are natural partners for anyone interested in maximizing the number of Americans enrolled in coverage.
Here are just a few examples of how Navigators are reaching and assisting consumers, and ways we’re excited to partner with them during the coming enrollment cycle:
The North Carolina Navigator Consortium is a coalition of 12 non-profit organizations that share the state’s largest Navigator grant, providing in-person assistance across the entire state. For the past two years, we’ve worked closely with members of the Consortium to form local stakeholder groups, organize enrollment events, and provide clear information to media and the community about how to enroll.
Partnering with these Navigators helped inspire one of our most popular digital tools: the Get Covered Connector. Legal Aid of North Carolina, one of the consortium members,led the way in establishing an appointment-scheduling system in the first open enrollment period, which we then built upon to create a nationwide online scheduling system. Having a statewide scheduling system makes it possible compare how many appointments are available in each part of the state, and where the demand is highest. In an area where demand exceeds supply of navigators, the Consortium can coordinate to send assisters from around the state to add capacity to enrollment events in that region. And they can fill appointments in areas with more capacity through joint outreach, such as speaking to faith organizations and other community groups and tabling at local community colleges and health agencies.
Three Navigator organizations in Florida have signed on to participate on the Get Covered Connector for this open enrollment period: Florida Covering Kids & Families (FL-CKF), the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida (EFOF), and the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners. We’ll be offering more training on the tool this year, customized by region/organization, including in-person consultation and developing internal policies for tracking appointment outcomes.
FL-CKF is the state’s largest Navigator consortium, and we’ve entered into a formal partnership with them to help implement enrollment events, launch a Navigator-driven program to make outreach phone calls to consumers, and provide training on how to reach Floridians through earned media. Our communications director for Florida will be coordinating interviews for Navigators with local press — a crucial venue for reaching the uninsured — and helping them prepare to share tested messages about enrollment tools in those interviews.
EFOF, the state’s second-largest Navigator program, will be teaming up with hospitals to make enrollment assistance available onsite for patients. We’ll be coordinating on outreach with many of those hospitals to connect patients to enrollment appointments with EFOF.
The Pennsylvania Partnership for Medical and Financial Health Project is an innovative Navigator consortium in northeastern and southeastern Pennsylvania. By linking counseling around health coverage enrollment with financial counseling, the Partnership emphasizes the critical intersection between financial and physical health. And it can offer a one-stop-shop for financial education and health coverage enrollment. The Partnership cites the Get Covered Connector as a critical connection in this endeavor.
The lead partner in the group is the Public Health Management Corporation, and other partners include Enroll America, Clarifi, CCCS NEPA, the Community Partner Network, and the Pennsylvania Health Access Network.
With just about a month and a half before the third open enrollment period starts, we’re excited to be getting ready for it alongside these Navigators, in addition to thousands of other active partner organizations.
Interested in teaming up with Enroll America on the work you’re doing in your community? Fill in this form, and we’ll be in touch!