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Health Care Insurance Navigators

History

The job of the health care insurance navigator was created as a result of federal statute. It came into existence in March 2010, when the U.S. Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and President Barack Obama signed it into law. The ACA is nicknamed “Obamacare,” and it has caused much heated political debate. It remains a source of ongoing controversy, both with respect to its intent, implementation, and success. The law mandates, among many other things, that all U.S. citizens must buy health insurance or obtain it through an employer or other source. To provide affordable health insurance options, the law allows for federal and state insurance marketplaces and offers federal subsidies to low-income individuals and families. The system of state health insurance marketplaces, also known as health insurance exchanges, offers individuals without health care insurance information and access to plans for purchase. Due to the complexities of the system, and the available options, a significant aspect of the law requires the establishment of “navigator” programs to assist consumers in purchasing coverage. These programs resulted in the creation of health insurance navigators, workers tasked with the specific role of helping people understand their options and assisting them with enrollment in qualified health insurance plans. 

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