The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance is accepting applications for community organizations to serve as health insurance navigators to help residents during the upcoming open enrollment period and during 2022.
The department said on Aug. 21 that $4 million in grant funding is available for navigators to make sure enrollment assistance is available for residents seeking coverage through the state’s health insurance marketplace Get Covered New Jersey.
Open enrollment starts Nov. 1.
“Navigators are vital to reaching New Jersey’s uninsured and connecting them to health coverage and available financial help. Particularly during a public health crisis, ensuring that residents have free unbiased assistance to help them enroll in a plan is crucial to our goal of ensuring that our residents can get the health coverage and care they deserve,” said Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Marlene Caride in a prepared statement.
“This investment represents the Murphy administration’s continued focus on improving access to health care. We encourage community organizations to apply to become a part of our state assister network,” Caride said.
The state has more than doubled its investment in navigators since the navigator program started in 2019.
Due to the new savings made available in April, the average monthly net premium for those receiving financial help is at a new historic low of $55 a month, down from $121 a month earlier this year when the average net premium for those receiving financial help had reached its lowest since the implementation of Healthcare.gov and availability of federal tax credits in 2014 at $148 a month, according to DOBI’s announcement.
Nine in 10 enrollees at Get Covered New Jersey qualify for financial help.
All health insurance marketplace programs are required to operate and fund a navigator program; and the grants support the work of organizations that conduct public education activities and offer free assistance to consumers looking for coverage on the marketplace, as well as help them apply for financial help.
To be eligible for funding through the grant program, organizations must demonstrate that they comply with the regulatory requirements outlined by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Department’s requirements in the Request for Applications.
A Request for Applications for funding for the New Jersey State Navigator Program is open and available for interested organizations through Sept. 17.