The Commonwealth Fund | July 1, 2013Read the Publication
This fall, under the Affordable Care Act, there will be new marketplaces in each state where insurance companies will sell private health plans. People without job-based affordable health benefits can go to these new marketplaces either in person, by phone, or on the Internet and choose a health plan. And many people will get help to pay for their plans. But recent polls suggest that many Americans remain unaware of these new places to buy health insurance or that they might be eligible for subsidies to pay for health plans. This means that consumer outreach and enrollment assistance in the marketplaces, also known as exchanges, will be vital to achieving one of the law’s core purposes: substantially reducing the number of people without health insurance in the United States. To help with outreach and enrollment, the law requires that every state marketplace establish a “navigator” program to support consumers.