HHS Announces Additional Navigator Resources to Support the Extended HealthCare.gov Open Enrollment Period
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced today that it is adding more consumer resources to support consumers’ access to coverage during the extended Marketplace Open Enrollment Period for HealthCare.gov – with approximately $10.2 million in additional funding awarded to current Navigator grantees in Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM) states. This funding will help support Navigator grantees’ outreach, education, and enrollment efforts around the extended Marketplace Open Enrollment Period.
Navigators help families and those in underserved communities gain access to health coverage options by helping them complete their Marketplace applications, access financial assistance through HealthCare.gov, and enroll in coverage through the Marketplace, Medicaid, or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Navigator grant awardees include community and consumer-focused non-profits, faith-based organizations, hospitals, trade and professional associations, and Tribes or Tribal organizations.
"We have launched one of the strongest Open Enrollment periods—with lower prices, and four times the number of assisters available to walk people through their coverage options," said Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra. "In addition to quadrupling the number of Navigators, we're working to get everyone possible covered with the peace of mind that comes with quality health insurance."
“Access to health care coverage is a basic human right and is essential in ensuring dignity for all people. This additional funding supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s pursuit of health equity across the country,” said CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure. “Navigators play a key role in reaching underserved communities that historically have lower access to health care coverage and greater disparities in health outcomes. There is still time for those who need quality, affordable health care coverage to sign up at HealthCare.gov.”
With the additional funding, Navigators will continue to assist consumers during the extended enrollment period on HealthCare.gov that runs through January 15, 2022. Coverage in plans selected after December 15 and by January 15 will generally start February 1, 2022.
Earlier this year, the Biden-Harris Administration extended the Open Enrollment Period to January 15, 2022, giving consumers an extra 30 days to review and choose health plans. The Administration also announced that, as a result of increased investment in the Navigator program, the number of Navigators has quadrupled, with 1,580 Navigators trained and certified to assist consumers for the 2022 plan year. Consumers in nearly every county have trained and certified Navigators available to help them apply for the health insurance coverage they need during this Open Enrollment Period. Through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), more people than ever are eligible to receive additional financial help to pay for Marketplace coverage. Four out of five consumers can find a plan for $10 or less per month with the newly expanded financial assistance made available under the ARP.
All consumers shopping for health insurance coverage for 2022 on HealthCare.gov — even those who currently have coverage through the Marketplace — should enroll or re-enroll by January 15 by logging in to HealthCare.gov or CuidadodeSalud.gov or calling 1-800-318-2596 to fill out a Marketplace application. HealthCare.gov was enhanced this year to make it easier for consumers to find quality plans at the most affordable price. To find local help from a Navigator or certified application counselor, or to be contacted by a Marketplace-registered agent or broker, consumers should go to https://www.healthcare.gov/find-assistance.
The campaign for this Open Enrollment reflects the largest marketing investment for Open Enrollment since the launch of HealthCare.gov. To date, 4.6 million people have enrolled during the 2022 Marketplace Open Enrollment Period with the average consumer having plan options from between six and seven insurance companies, up from four to five companies in 2021.
For a list of current CMS Navigator grantees, please visit: https://www.cms.gov/files/document/2021-navigator-grant-recipients.pdf.