On September 21, the DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority Executive Board approved grants for 3 DC-based community organizations to serve as Navigator entities to provide in-person assistance to individuals and families looking to enroll in health insurance coverage through DC Health Link, the District’s online health insurance marketplace. The grantees are: African Methodist Episcopal Church Second District Religious, Educational and Charitable Development Projects, Inc. (AME Second District RED); DC Primary Care Association (DCPCA); and Whitman-Walker Health (WWH). All funded Navigator organizations are experienced DC Health Link partners from previous and current Assister, Navigator, and/or Certified Application Counselor (CAC) entities and have trained and certified in-person assistance teams. Funded organizations include members of the faith-based community, a network of community-based health centers, and health care providers focused on the LGBT community and assisting those living with HIV/AIDS. Grantees serve residents in each of the District’s eight wards. Assistance will be provided in a variety of languages including English, Spanish, and Amharic.
“We are excited to increase our number of Navigator partnerships with these skilled organizations that have deep roots in the diverse communities that make up the District of Columbia,” said DC Health Benefit Exchange Authority Executive Board Chair Diane Lewis. “DC Health Link Navigators are a critical part of our strategy of educating and enrolling consumers where they are located throughout each of the District’s eight wards.”
The DC Health Link Navigator Program is a partnership with community organizations that have experience successfully reaching, educating, and enrolling the District’s diverse uninsured and hard-to-reach populations into Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) and insurance affordability programs and which also provide effective post-enrollment and renewal support services to consumers, as appropriate. The DC Primary Care Association has served as the District’s Navigator entity from marketplace launch to the present.
The Navigator grants were awarded as the result of a competitive Request for Applications (RFA) process seeking qualified entities across the District. The awards total $150,000 to support more than 15 trained experts across the District in 2016. The three grant awards are for one year with four option years.
According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 34,000 (5.3%) District residents are uninsured. The Urban Institute’s research finds that more than half (58%) of the District’s uninsured are African American, two-thirds are male, and a majority are under 35 years old. People who are uninsured are more likely to live in Wards 1, 4, 5, and 7.
The full list of the organizations receiving grant funding and their FY16 award amounts can be found below:
African Methodist Episcopal Church Second District Religious, Educational and Charitable Development Projects, Inc. (AME Second District RED): $40,000
DC Primary Care Association (DCPCA): $40,000
Whitman-Walker Health (WWH): $70,000