$10 Million in Grants for Community-Based Organizations and Clinics; Nearly 30,000 Certified Enrollment Counselors, Certified Insurance Agents and Volunteers to Deliver In-Person Help During Upcoming Third Open Enrollment
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Covered California announced Tuesday it is expanding the gateways in California communities where consumers can get help with enrolling in and maintaining health coverage.
“We continue building partnerships across the state by providing new grants and new opportunities to community groups to engage consumers directly and help them get the health coverage and care they need,” Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee said.
For the upcoming third open enrollment, Covered California announced that it intends to award more than $10 million in grants to Navigators — community-based organizations that provide consumers in-person enrollment assistance, renewal assistance, ongoing support and education on how to get the best value from their health plan.
Enrolling in person is important to many people, and Certified Enrollment Counselors in the Navigator Program, along with insurance agents, play a critical role by providing help to consumers who need it. During the last open-enrollment period, approximately 70 percent of eligible consumers enrolled or renewed with assistance from Certified Insurance Agents, Certified Enrollment Counselors or Navigators, or with the help of Service Center representatives who delivered assistance over the phone.
“Getting confidential and local one-on-one help from trusted sources is important to consumers. These partnerships are instrumental in helping Californians get the support they need when selecting and enrolling in a health insurance plan,” said Lee.
Approximately 68 organizations under the 2015-2016 Navigator Program will receive grants of between $50,000 and $500,000. Additionally, nearly 12,000 Certified Insurance Agents will be available across the state, there will be 400 storefronts where consumers can walk in and enroll, and thousands more Certified Enrollment Counselors will assist with applications through nonprofit organizations committed to improving the health of Californians.
A list of Navigator organizations and the amounts Covered California intends to award is available online at http://hbex.coveredca.com/navigator-program/PDFs/2015-16-Intent-to-Award-List.pdf.
The Navigator Program is a mandatory requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and is funded from revenue generated by Covered California. Organizations were selected through a competitive grant application process.
About Covered California
Covered California is the state’s marketplace for the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Covered California, in partnership with the California Department of Health Care Services, was charged with creating a new health insurance marketplace in which individuals and small businesses can get access to affordable health insurance plans. Covered California helps individuals determine whether they are eligible for premium assistance that is available on a sliding-scale basis to reduce insurance costs or whether they are eligible for low-cost or no-cost Medi-Cal. Consumers can then compare health insurance plans and choose the plan that works best for their health needs and budget. Small businesses can purchase competitively priced health insurance plans and offer their employees the ability to choose from an array of plans and may qualify for federal tax credits.
Covered California is an independent part of the state government whose job is to make the new market work for California’s consumers. It is overseen by a five-member board appointed by the Governor and the Legislature. For more information about Covered California, please visit www.CoveredCA.com.