New federal grants available for Affordable Care Act enrollment Navigators

Those helping enroll patients in the ACA Marketplace can get needed federal funding for enrollment efforts

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced new funding to support Navigators working to enroll people in Affordable Care Act health insurance plans.

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The funding opportunity is open to eligible to clinics, not-profit organizations, individuals, as well as private and public entities, applying to serve as Navigators for the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace. The grants are open to new and returning Navigator grant applicants, and applications are due by June 15, 2015, CMS said.

“This is a great opportunity for those helping enroll patients in the ACA Marketplace to get needed funding for those enrollment efforts,” said Elena Marks, President and CEO of the Episcopal Health Foundation. “We know that Navigators have been effective and beneficial to those looking for health insurance options.”

CMS says the new grant opportunity expands the Navigator funding project period from 12 months to 36 months. The multi-year grant award will be funded in 12-month increments and continued funding will be contingent on the grantee continuing to meet all Navigator program requirements and on funding availability, the CMS announcement said.

“Navigators have been an important resource for the millions of Americans who enrolled in coverage over the past two years,” said CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt. “This funding announcement ensures this important work will continue over the next three years, including during Marketplace open enrollment periods.”

In announcing the grants, a CMS statement says Navigator grant applicants should describe how they intend to assist consumers who are uninsured or under-insured and consumers who are likely to be eligible for or enrolled in coverage through a Marketplace.  CMS says grantees will be selected for a three-year project period, and a total of up to $67 million is available for the first year of the award.