Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Date: April 16, 2015
NEW CASTLE (April 16, 2015) - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has allocated $600,000 in each of the next three years for grants to Delaware organizations or individuals who help consumers enroll in health coverage through Delaware's Health Insurance Marketplace. The funds are open to eligible individuals as well as private and public entities who apply to serve as federal "navigators" in states that enroll consumers through Healthcare.gov. Grantees will be selected for a three-year period. Applications are due by June 15. The $600,000 matches the amounts Delaware received in 2013 and 2014.
Navigators provide objective information about health coverage to consumers to help them make the best possible choice. They are knowledgeable about qualified health plans in the Health Insurance Marketplace and public programs, including Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.
"Our state's navigators provide an invaluable resource to those looking to enroll in an affordable health insurance plan that is right for their family. These grants will help those efforts," said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. "The Affordable Care Act is moving our health care system away from an inefficient fee-for-service system to one of preventative and coordinated care that keeps patients healthy, ultimately leading to better outcomes for less money. The navigators are vital to informing and connecting Delawareans on the available health care options."
Added U.S. Rep. John Carney: "As more and more Delawareans enroll in health plans through the Affordable Care Act, it's essential that consumers receive the assistance they need to choose the plan that's best for them. The success of the Affordable Care Act depends on its implementation. This grant will ensure enrollees are able to take full advantage of the new healthcare law."
Federally funded navigators have been a key part of Delaware's enrollment assistance efforts during the first two years of the Health Insurance Marketplace and are expected to play an even more critical role in coming years now that the state's two-year contracts with enrollment assisters called marketplace guides have ended. Navigators will join agents and brokers, certified application counselors and staff from federally qualified health centers to provide enrollment assistance.
"These funds represent a great opportunity for eligible Delaware organizations and individuals to educate consumers about their health insurance options and help them apply for coverage that fits their needs and connects them to quality care," said Michelle Amadio, director of Delaware's Health Insurance Marketplace. "Navigators will be especially important as we continue to reach out to traditionally hard-to-reach populations such as Latinos and young adults."
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, according to CMS.
Navigator grant applicants should describe how they intend to assist consumers who are uninsured or underinsured and consumers who are likely to be eligible for or enrolled in coverage through the Marketplace. Applicants should also describe how they plan to assist people seeking to re-enroll in coverage through the Marketplace and provide post-enrollment assistance.
To access the funding opportunity announcement, visit www.grants.gov and search for CFDA # 93.332. For more information about Navigators, visit: www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Programs-and-Initiatives/Health-Insurance-Marketplaces/assistance.html
The next Marketplace open enrollment season will begin Nov. 1, 2015, and run through Jan. 31, 2016. To learn more about Delaware's Health Insurance Marketplace, go to www.ChooseHealthDE.com
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.