Covered California recently announced $10 million in new grants for the upcoming exchange open-enrollment season awarded to 68 “navigator” groups, including about 12,000 certified insurance agents who played a pivotal part in enrolling 43% of state residents for 2015.

“It cannot be overstated the valuable contributions agents have made in helping Covered California successfully fulfill its mission,” according to a Covered California spokesperson. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with agents.”

About 70% of Californians enrolled or re-enrolled with the help of these agents, certified enrollment counselors, navigators, or call-center reps. Roughly 200,000 consumers are expected to enroll through the state-run health insurance exchange between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31, raising its total head count to between 1.37 and 1.54 million active enrollees.

The grants, which range from $50,000 to $500,000, will fund in-person enrollment and renewal assistance available at 400 storefronts and on the telephone, as well as educational efforts aimed at helping consumers shop for value when choosing a health plan.

“Getting confidential and local one-on-one help from trusted sources is important to consumers,” says Covered California Executive Director Peter V. Lee. “These partnerships are instrumental in helping Californians get the support they need when selecting and enrolling in a health insurance plan.”

In related news, Covered California says it’s on “solid financial footing” at a time when state-run HIXs have struggled to become self-sufficient by 2016. The public exchange’s 2015-2016 fiscal year budget calls for nearly $200 million in unrestricted reserves and $100 million in federal establishment funds to complete its initial launch.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Employee Benefit Adviser content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access