Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal Health Insurance Navigator Program aims to reduce the rate of uninsured in the United States. Under this program, navigators help people obtain insurance coverage through federally facilitated Marketplaces. However, the program’s financial instability and substantial budget cuts created a severe shortage of navigator assistance for the uninsured and underserved. The COVID-19 pandemic added further pressure to the already-strained program. Our study examined how unstable and unpredictable federal funding and the COVID-19 pandemic affected organizations’ navigator work in the federal program in 2020. The results study show (1) that navigator organizations provide vital, year-round resources; (2) that organizations feel pushed to direct scarce resources to grant management and cut service provision; and (3) that there are policy changes that can support navigator organizations in the future. Increased and ongoing federal investment is needed to support this vital health workforce and expand enrollment assistance for underserved communities.
Authors:van Eijk MS, Prueher L, Kett PM, Frogner BK, Guenther GA
Journal/Publisher:Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Edition:Aug 2022. 33(3):1555-1568
Link to ArticleAccess the article here: Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
Citation:van Eijk MS, Prueher L, Kett PM, Frogner BK, Guenther GA. Financial Instability of Federal Navigator Program Challenges Organizations to Help Uninsured Enroll in Health Insurance Coverage. J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2022;33(3):1555-1568. doi:10.1353/hpu.2022.0129
Related Studies:The Role of Insurance Navigators in Mitigating the Financial and Health Risk of Unemployed Workers