WHAT IS A NAVIGATOR?
A Navigator is someone specially trained and certified by the Federal government to assist consumers in getting enrolled in coverage on the new healthcare marketplace created by the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Navigators assist consumers in “navigating” their enrollment options at no cost to the consumer.
DO I NEED TO USE A NAVIGATOR?
No. Most citizens will be able to enroll themselves in coverage without assistance by simply going to Healthcare.gov and following the prompts. But others, for a variety for reasons, will need one-on-one assistance.
CAN A NAVIGATOR TURN ME AWAY?
No. Navigators are required to provide assistance to anyone who requests it. While some Navigators will allow walk in visits, you may be required to make an appointment. Call ahead to find out.
WILL NAVIGATORS ASK FOR MY TAX RECORDS OR MEDICAL RECORDS?
No. In rare instances, like when you had a dramatic increase or decrease in salary since your last tax filing, you may need to bring additional information like a pay stub. But your Navigator can discuss this with you when you make your appointment.
HOW DO I FIND A NAVIGATOR IN MY AREA?
You may visit Healthcare.gov for a complete listing of Navigators, or www.enrollmichigan.org, which lists our statewide Navigator network broken down by region.
WILL THERE BE A NAVIGATOR IN MY COMMUNITY?
Visit www.enrollmichigan.org to find an agency in your area that is making a certified Navigator available to assist you. If you live in the Tri-County area of Wayne, Macomb and Oakland County, you will have some additional Navigator options outside the Enroll Michigan network, these include ACCESS and American Indian Health and Family Services.
ARE NAVIGATORS MY ONLY OPTION?
No. There are also Certified Application Counselors (CACs) that can assist you. CACs lack the same level of training Navigators receive and are allowed to have conflicts of interest. But if your situation is relatively uncomplicated and you ask the CAC to identify any conflicts of interest, you should be fine.
CAN A CAC TURN ME AWAY?
Yes. Certified Application Counselors are not required to provide assistance to anyone who asks. Navigators are the only ones who must provide assistance to everyone who needs it regardless of circumstance.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO GET ENROLLED?
The open enrollment dates for 2016-2017 have yet to be released. Please stay tuned for further updates from CMS.
WILL I FACE AN IRS PENALTY IF I CAN’T AFFORD INSURANCE?
No. There is an affordability waiver that allows for those who can’t afford insurance to avoid a fine. Your Navigator can explain the waiver process in the unlikely event that there are no affordable options available to you.
WHAT IF I THINK I’M ELIGIBLE FOR THE EXPANDED MEDICAID PROGRAM?
You will still begin your enrollment process at Healthcare.gov. Your Navigator can provide details.
CAN A SMALL BUSINESS USE A NAVIGATOR?
Yes. The federal government will pick up as much as 50% of the cost for small businesses (with 25 or fewer employees) to provide healthcare coverage to their employees. Your Navigator can provide details.
HOW DO I AVOID BEING TAKEN IN BY SCAMS?
There is only one place to enroll in federally subsidized healthcare and that is Healthcare.gov. You should not allow anyone to misdirect you to another website. Use only reputable organizations like Enroll Michigan for identifying Navigators in your community and don’t provide personal information at the doorstep. Navigators will not be coming to your door. You will go to the Navigator agency in your community either at their office or at a publicized community event.