This past Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services released $67 million dollars to fund health care “navigators,” intended, as the name states, to navigate uninsureds and other individuals through the new health care law.
In total, 105 organizations received grant funds to assist with coverage in states where the government is running exchange programs. Navigators will receive 20 to 30 hours of training and are subject to prosecution for violating any applicable privacy law.
According to an article published by The New York Times, “the stakes are high for the navigator effort, because for the law to succeed, millions of people, particularly the young and healthy, need to buy insurance through the new markets.”
Notably, Oregon has been one of the first states to use outreach workers to help Medicaid patients navigate the new system and avoid expensive hospitalizations. Oregon outreach workers help patients keep current on their medications, seek appropriate primary care when necessary, and learn about their conditions. Read more about Oregon’s effort here.