Thursday, August 22, 2013

Obamacare and the “Navigator”: The Scilly Naval Disaster of 1707 at $20 an Hour?

“The Obama administration added millions of dollars to ObamaCare's enrollment push Thursday, a surprise move designed to help bolster participation in new insurance plans.

The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) announced $67 million in funding for “navigators,” which are people and community groups who will help people make sense of their options under the healthcare law.

HHS had initially said navigators would receive $54 million in grants, but officials said they pulled an extra $13 million from the healthcare law’s prevention fund to help broaden the reach of the program.

“Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their coverage options in the marketplace,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a press release. “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.”

All told, more than 100 organizations in 34 states received grants on Thursday.

The list of navigators includes a host of healthcare networks and universities, which will add ObamaCare education to existing programs that offer healthcare counseling to low-income families.

Some community organizations will use the money to print brochures and organize informational forums. Other recipients will promote enrollment through food banks and religious centers.”
- Officials add millions of dollars to ObamaCare enrollment drive, the, 08/15/2013

Link to the entire article appears below:

Note: what exactly is a “navigator“?

“Tens of thousands of health care professionals, union workers and community activists hired as "navigators" to help Americans choose Obamacare options starting Oct. 1 could earn $20 an hour or more, according to new regulations issued Wednesday.

The 63-page rule covering navigators, drawn up by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, also said the government will provide free translators for those not fluent in English -- no matter what their native language is.

"The proposed requirements would also include that such entities and individuals provide consumers with information and assistance in the consumer's preferred language, at no cost to the consumer, which would include oral interpretation of non-English languages and the translation of written documents in non-English languages when necessary to ensure meaningful access," said the regulations.

The rules also addressed conflict of interest and other potential issues that navigators could face as the public's first stop on the Obamacare trail.

It is still not clear how many navigators will be required. California, however, provides a hint. It wants 21,000.

That could be an expensive proposition. The proposed rules, now open for public comment, suggest an estimated pay of $20-$48 an hour.” - Tens of thousands Obamacare 'navigators' to be hired, Washington Examiner, 04/03/2013

Link to the entire article appears below:



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