In May, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released proposed reporting requirements for Navigators in federally facilitated and state partnership marketplaces for the upcoming year. Though many of the proposed fields are identical to current guidelines, there are some changes affecting weekly reports, the most notable of which is the addition of several post-enrollment assistance fields.
As part of Enroll America’s commitment to supporting the critical role that Navigators and other in-person assisters play in helping consumers enroll in and retain coverage, we offered comments to CMS earlier this month in support of CMS’s proposed changes, as well as further suggestions for improvement. We recognize that creating clear metrics and efficient reporting mechanisms is easier said than done, so we also included specific, actionable suggestions.
Here’s a quick run-down of our recommendations:
- Aligning reporting requirements with Navigators’ range of duties: Asking Navigators to report the number of consumers who are renewing and enrolling for the first time helps ensure Navigators are reaching both critical consumer groups. Navigators play a vital role in ensuring consumers understand and retain their coverage and financial help, and they should be recognized for this time-intensive work.
- Minimizing the administrative burden: While data reporting is key to highlighting assisters’ reach and efficacy, it is important to balance meaningful data collection with a manageable administrative burden for assister groups. As CMS considers ways to improve the existing reporting process, it should create a more flexible reporting structure that, where possible, can better connect with other systems and reduce duplicative reporting.
- Creating clarity in the weekly report: Using feedback from our field staff and assister groups, we recommend ways CMS can clarify specific requested metrics in weekly reports. Helping solve the ambiguities Navigators face will allow them to spend more time helping individuals enroll in coverage.
And this is just a brief overview — you can read our full comments on these topics and more here. We expect CMS to finalize Navigator reporting requirements in late September in time for the upcoming open enrollment period.