As the start of Utah’s third open enrollment period approaches this November 1st, the Utah Health Policy Project, along with its lead community partners, the Association for Utah Community Health and United Way of Salt Lake 2-1-1, received a new competitive grant from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to offer free insurance enrollment assistance to tens of thousands of Utah consumers.
Utah's navigator program is a key component of Take Care Utah, a statewide network of trained and certified enrollment experts who help people find and understand their new options for affordable health care coverage.
This $740,090 grant—the third funding stream awarded to Utah's nonprofit navigators since 2013—will enable the network to continue to offer one-on-one assistance to many underserved communities throughout the state. New navigator enrollment goals included expanded partnerships to reach high-need areas in Weber, Summit, Wasatch, and Washington counties.
“What we are doing in Utah is unique and very productive. That’s why we were funded again to continue to innovate ways to promote better coverage and enrollment,” said Matt Slonaker, Executive Director of Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP). “In Utah, we all work together. We have partners all across the state and we all have the same aim—to get people better access to affordable health care coverage,” added Slonaker.
Utah's navigator program will receive $740,090, part of Utah’s share of the $67 million made available for 2015-16 to fund navigator programs around the nation. Last year the navigator network received a $485,198 grant to cover the second enrollment period, which saw over 128,000 Utahns sign up for new private insurance. During the inaugural enrollment period in 2013-14, it received $406,000 in funding to establish the enrollment systems and best practices that helped over 84,000 Utahns sign up for insurance.
“I am excited to continue the work,” said Randal Serr, Director of Take Care Utah. “Take Care Utah’s navigator program helps so many families around the state benefit from getting health insurance and I know there are many more that can use the help,” Serr added.
Take Care Utah's navigators will be ready to help Utahns find coverage when the insurance marketplace at heathcare.gov opens again on November 1, 2015. The open enrollment period continues for three months until January 31, 2016. "We are looking forward to helping more Utahns find health insurance that fits their budget," said Serr. "We have partnered with some fantastic organizations that enjoy the high level of trust in their communities to get the job done.”