Financial Instability of Federal Navigator Program Challenges Organizations to Help Uninsured Enroll in Health Insurance Coverage

Authors: Marieke van Eijk, PhD | Lillian Prueher, PhD, MPH | Paula Kett, PhD, MPH, BSN, IBCL | Bianca Frogner, PhD | Grace Guenther, MPA

Topics: COVID-19, Policy, Staffing

Research Center: University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies

January 11, 2023

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Obama Administration created the federal Health Insurance Navigator Program, which seeks to reduce the rate of uninsured in the United States. Under this program, navigators help people procure insurance coverage through federally facilitated Marketplaces (or Exchanges). During COVID-19, financial insecurity and substantial budget cuts created increased shortages and budget cuts for navigator assistance, straining the program even further than pre-pandemic.

This article examines how fluctuating federal funding and the COVID-19 pandemic affected navigator organizations and their employees in 2020.

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University of Washington Center for Health Workforce Studies