HHS Awards $67 Million to Marketplace Navigators
Navigators will need to complete initial and ongoing training, renew certification annually
MONDAY, Aug. 19 (HealthDay News) -- $67 million is being awarded to Navigator grant applicants and their staff, who will serve as an in-person resource for those requiring additional assistance in shopping for and enrolling in Health Insurance Marketplace plans, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Trained navigators will provide impartial information to consumers about health insurance, the new Marketplaces, qualified health plans, and public programs. The funding opportunity is open to eligible public and private groups and to self-employed individuals who meet specific standards.
Navigators will be required to complete 20 to 30 hours of training in order to receive certification, take additional training during the year, and renew their certification on an annual basis. They will be expected to adhere to security and privacy standards. Enrollment assisters, including in-person assisters, Certified Application Counselors, and agents and brokers, will need to complete specific training and will be subject to federal criminal penalties for violations of privacy or fraud statutes.
"Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their coverage options in the Marketplace," Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, said in a statement. "A network of volunteers on the ground in every state -- health care providers, business leaders, faith leaders, community groups, advocates, and local elected officials -- can help spread the word and encourage their neighbors to get enrolled."
More Information (http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2013pres/08/20130815a.html )