Navigators are not only focusing on health insurance in the US
With health insurance exchanges going active throughout the U.S., the role that navigators play in these systems is beginning to attract more attention. Navigators are meant to help consumers find the best policies available through state-based insurance exchanges. These navigators have no affiliation with insurance companies and can only be hired through non-profit organizations. While navigators have been helping people find insurance policies that suit their needs, many of these navigators are reporting that they are acting more like educators rather than guides.
Education is becoming key to helping people understand health insurance provisions
In South Dakota, the Navigator Coalition has been working to help consumers find affordable health insurance policies since the state’s exchange began open enrollment earlier this month. The state is one among 36 that has opted to allow the federal government to run its exchange system, including much of the marketing that was meant to raise awareness of the exchange. Kim Jones, working with the Navigator Coalition, notes that many people have been contacting navigators to ask questions about the Affordable Care Act rather than utilize these navigators to find health insurance policies.
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Education duties may strain the efforts of navigators
Navigators are, of course, trained to help people understand the federal law and how it may affect them and their access to health insurance. The problem, however, is that both state and federal governments have poured money into marketing efforts in order to dispel any confusion that may exist concerning the Affordable Care Act. Thus far, these marketing efforts seem to have had little impact. While there may be enough navigators to help people find appropriate health insurance policies, much of their time may be consumed in teaching people about the basic aspects of the federal health care law. The time spent doing so could slow the adoption of health insurance policies through exchanges and put a strain on the capabilities of navigators.
Consumers seem eager to learn about the Affordable Care Act
While navigators are taking time to educate consumers, many people seem to be relatively excited when it comes to the prospects of the Affordable Care Act. Navigators have reported little frustration coming from consumers concerning state-based health insurance exchanges, even despite the technical difficulties that these exchanges have been experiencing lately. Overall, consumers appear to be in good nature and have expressed an eagerness to learn about the Affordable Care Act from navigators.