Covered California, the state-based healthcare exchange, today announced that they will delay their navigator program, originally scheduled to be implemented in time for this fall’s health insurance exchange open enrollment. CoveredCA stated earlier this year that the initial goal of the Navigator program was to “promote maximum enrollment of individuals into coverage” by ensuring that navigators “are knowledgeable of both subsidized and non-subsidized health coverage and qualified health plans” and that navigators “are equipped with the information and expertise needed to successfully enroll individuals into coverage” during open enrollment for health insurance this fall.
Kudos, Covered California, for realizing that the initial goal cannot be met, and pivoting to an already existing infrastructure of trained, licensed, and insured agents and brokers to perform these tasks. While navigators would have had to undergo a crash-course in healthcare, existing agents and brokers have a lifetime of experience in the field and will make for a much smoother transition to 2014.
Agents and brokers have a continued stake in ensuring that their clients’ coverage on the new health insurance exchange is the best possible fit for their specific needs. Agents and brokers have an existing relationship with millions of clients, making them the ideal choice to help their clients’ decisions during health insurance exchange open enrollment this fall. Kudos to CoveredCA for recognizing the invaluable conduit that the existing agent/client relationship is and leveraging it to produce the best results for their upcoming open enrollment this fall. After all, that was their goal in the first place.