ACA Navigators Get Steep Funding Cut For Second Year
The Trump administration is drastically cutting funding for nonprofits that help sign people up for the Affordable Care Act.
The amount of money available for North Carolina ACA navigators is going from $3.4 million last year to $500,000 this year.
“$500,000 available to North Carolina is a very drastic cut. It’s about 85 percent less than what North Carolina had access to last year,” said Mark Van Arnam, director of the North Carolina Navigator Consortium, which is the biggest provider in the state.
The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services -which oversees the program- said navigators signed up less than one percent of the eligible population last enrollment period.
That's misleading, according to Van Arnam.
“There’s a whole lot of stuff navigators do besides just helping people enroll in that short six-week open enrollment window,” he said.
Enrollment is one of the services navigators provide. They also engage in community outreach, eligibility education and tax assistance.
Van Arnam added that many people sign up for coverage at home after speaking with a navigator, which isn't counted.
CMS pointed out that agents and brokers assisted with 42 percent of enrollments for plans last year at a much lower cost than navigators.
Nationwide, CMS is cutting program funding by 73 percent.