Two Mo. organizations will hire Affordable Care Act navigators

Aug 15, 2013

Credit Alan Cleaver / flickr

Primaris Healthcare Business Solutions and the Missouri Alliance of Area Agencies on Aging have been granted federal money to hire people who will help Missouri consumers navigate the new insurance marketplace, set to open for enrollment on Oct. 1.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services quietly announced the grantees Thursday.

The health insurance marketplace will be a website where consumers can compare different insurance plans and benefits side-by-side, almost like purchasing an airplane ticket on Orbitz, for example. The marketplace, a key component of the Affordable Care Act, will be open for enrollment on Oct. 1, with coverage starting by January 2014.   

Primaris will get $1,045,624 to “raise awareness of the coverage options available to Missourians” in the marketplace. The announcement says Primaris will lead a coalition of 11 Missouri healthcare and social services organizations.

The Missouri Alliance of Area Agencies on Aging will receive $750,000 to perform “extensive statewide outreach and education to consumers” about the marketplace. According to its website, the alliance has 10 area agencies in its roster, spread throughout the state.

In addition to federal certification, anyone hired by the two organizations to become marketplace “navigators” will have to be licensed by the state, thanks to a new law.  

The navigators will be responsible to help what could be hundreds of thousands of Missourians enroll for insurance coverage in the marketplace. Families USA estimates 525,000 Missourians will be eligible for tax credits to help pay the cost of purchasing insurance in the marketplace. Enrollment for the marketplace closes March 31, 2014.