What Is the Role of a Health Care Navigator?


Quick Answer

A health care navigator is an individual or organization whose job it is to aid consumers in exploring their health care options under the Affordable Care Act. Since eligibility, prices and requirements can vary according to each American's particular circumstances, a navigator can help guide subscribers to available options and help them choose the best coverage for their needs.

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Full Answer

Under the Affordable Care Act, Americans must enroll in health insurance coverage or pay a fine. While some Americans may receive their insurance through their employers, as was traditional before the ACA, many gained the option to purchase insurance directly through a state or national health insurance exchange. Healthcare.gov serves as the central clearinghouse for the enrollment process, but the options and requirements can vary from person to person and may be difficult to navigate.

The federal Navigator program set aside grant money to train and empower organizations and individuals to assist taxpayers in selecting from their available coverage options. For instance, a navigator can quickly work out whether a subscriber's income qualifies for Medicaid coverage, or if employer-offered insurance meets the affordability guidelines established under the ACA. Navigators offer their services to consumers free of charge and are required to be impartial when offering multiple health insurance options.

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