Post by Tara McKenzie Erp
In August of 2013 a change started to take place. HealthNet staff were given the opportunity to train as Federal Navigators to help people enroll in the Market Place under the Affordable Care Act. After many hours, weeks, and months our team all became official “Navigators”. So what does that mean?
For the first month we waited patiently for referrals (people interested in signing up for health insurance). As a way to increase referrals, the Outreach and Enrollment Team attended staff meetings at each HealthNet Center to explain the health insurance referral process.
As navigators we meet with individuals who are in need of health care insurance for FREE. These individuals, who become our clients, can need different types of health insurance, such as the Marketplace, Healthy Indiana Plan or Medicaid. The Navigators will meet with clients to discuss their health insurance options ANYWHERE that is convenient for them (even McDonalds)! Navigators might show up thinking they are going to do one enrollment and end up doing 3 or 4, because other people in the household need insurance as well.
As Navigators we “navigate” clients through the health insurance enrollment process. We help clients understand what plans they qualify for and give them follow up information to check on their enrollment status. The enrollment time varies with each client. As Navigators, we have the flexibility to take extra time to meet with clients if needed since we are located throughout the community.
Where the Outreach & Enrollment Team is now is a big change from those first couple months. There are now seven certified Navigators on the Outreach and Enrollment Team and we are still growing. We have two bilingual navigators and are steadily receiving referrals. We are receiving more training on a regular basis to ensure that all clients are served regardless of their need. We have laptops, printers, shirts, jackets, and cool rolling bags to carry it all in. So if you see someone coming through the clinic looking like a pilot on a mission with a bag rolling behind them that would be a Navigator. As Navigators, we will meet you anywhere in the community that is convenient for you.
The enrollment period ends on March 31, 2014! If you or someone you know is in need of our free services please call: