Sixteen thousand people will be working through community organizations starting this October. They’ll help sign people up for health coverage when open enrollment starts under the Affordable Care Act.
But there were supposed to be more helpers called “navigators” in January. Now those assisters won’t be deployed until July.
Dana Howard of Covered California says it’s a ‘heavy lift’ to get the new marketplace up and running.
“This isn’t something that has to be done today to establish core functionality for Covered California. We have the enrollment counselors already in place to make sure that the public has access to somebody in person who can assist them in getting enrolled in Covered California,” says Howard.
But Fatima Morales of Community Health Councils says she’s concerned about any delay in a program that is supposed to help uninsured people connect to coverage.
“When you think about 5.3 million Californians being eligible for coverage, just under Covered California, you need as many people as you can, out in communities, helping people enroll in schools, anywhere,” says Morales.
The organizations that will be helping to sign people up for health insurance this October will receive $58 dollars for each successful enrollment.